Fiat Chrysler to Judge: GM’s Being Paranoid, Please Ignore

General Motors desperately wants to reopen a case dismissed last month by a federal judge, but Fiat Chrysler’s having none of it.

The racketeering lawsuit filed by GM against its crosstown rival alleged that FCA secured unfair labor advantages over GM via bribed UAW officials, with the automaker claiming last week that it possesses new evidence capable of convicting its automotive foe. A number of offshore bank accounts fueled the bribery effort, GM claims, with the automaker’s court filing accusing former UAW Vice President (and ex-GM board member) Joe Ashton of being a paid mole.

Gripping stuff, but FCA says it’s seen this movie before — and it’s a stinker.

According to Reuters, FCA has requested U.S. District Judge Paul Borman to pay no attention to GM’s request, saying its rival’s allegations amount to a “third-rate spy movie, full of preposterous allegations.”

The conviction of Ashton and imprisonment of former FCA labor negotiator Alphons Iacobelli, as well as the sweeping federal investigation into corruption and bribery at the highest levels of the UAW gives GM’s lawsuit weight, but the automaker won’t be able to prove anything unless it gets its day in court. Former UAW president Dennis Williams is also named in the suit as a beneficiary of FCA’s alleged bribery scheme.

GM has claimed since the outset that corrupted bargaining practices left FCA with an unfair labor cost advantage over its domestic rivals, costing its own operations billions. It wanted to collect and still does.

In a court filing early last week, GM claimed that FCA’s bribery cash flowed by way of bank accounts in the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Italy, and Singapore. FCA says it’s all bunk, stating to the judge that it operates facilities in dozens of countries. As such, the number of offshore accounts is “unremarkable, and certainly not illegal.”

Continuing, FCA said the naming of FCA officials was a “despicable” act reminiscent of the McCarthy witch hunt of the 1950s.

In a letter seen by Reuters on Monday, FCA CEO Mike Manley told employees that GM’s efforts amount to a case of sour grapes.

“It is… clear to me that this series of attacks is directly related to our success in competing and winning where it matters, in the market,” Manley wrote. “The consistent strengths we’ve demonstrated over the last decade will be deployed to even greater effect as we complete our merger with Groupe PSA.”

Unswayed by FCA’s new filing, GM remained adamant that it would reveal “the full extent of harm the FCA bribery scheme caused GM,” stating that, “FCA’s corruption of the collective bargaining process remains undeniable.”

a version of this post first appeared on TTAC

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