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MichMan

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Feds: Fiat Chrysler VP bribed UAW execs 'to take company friendly positions'

Source: Detroit Free Press


Feds: Fiat Chrysler VP bribed UAW execs 'to take company friendly positions'

It started out as a scandal about personal greed. Fiat Chrysler and UAW executives, authorities said, were scheming together to line their own pockets.But the scheme, they now claim, had another goal: Helping the company instead of autoworkers, and bribing union officials to get that done.

In an explosive document filed Friday in the growing Fiat Chrysler-UAW scandal, the government said former Fiat Chrysler Vice President Alphons Iacobelli was bribing union officials to persuade them "to take company-friendly positions."This new allegation raises the question of whether or not the union's contract and other decisions were influenced by the wrongdoing, potentially undermining the credibility of the contract. The phrase "company friendly positions," also could relate to how the UAW handled employee grievances, plant specific issues, holiday work and overtime work schedules, training, plant organizational changes and other plant programs.The government, however, doesn't have to prove that contracts or policies were influenced to convict those charged. It only has to show that auto executives were bribing union officials -- a crime that prosecutors claim Iacobelli pulled off through various financial schemes. One of them, they said, involved giving union officials credit cards to go on shopping sprees whenever they felt like it.

The credit cards, they said,  were issued through the UAW-FCA training center, and paid for everything from designer clothes and $1,000 shoes to a Ferrari and swimming pool."Iacobelli said,  'if you see something you want, feel free to buy it. I don't have a problem if you buy it on the charge card,' " prosecutors wrote in a court filing today, adding this was part of a bigger plan to keep senior union officials  "fat, dumb and happy." The details about Iacobelli's alleged motives surfaced in a new charging document that named a fourth targeted defendant in the case. Both the UAW and FCA have previously said that the alleged FCA-UAW scam did not affect the contracts. "It is important for you to know that despite some public commentary to the contrary, the allegations in the indictment in no way call into question the collective bargaining contracts negotiated by our union during this period," UAW President Dennis Williams said last month after the first charges became public. Said Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne in a letter to employees last month: "This conduct had nothing whatsoever to do with the collective bargaining process."


Nevertheless, those involved were in positions to influence both contract negotiations and other decisions. Retired UAW Associate Director Virdell King, the first African-American female to be elected president of a local union in UAW-Chrysler's history, was charged Friday in U.S. District Court today with being part of a conspiracy that involved the theft of more than $4.5 million in autoworker training funds. King, 65, of Detroit, was a UAW employee who served as a senior offical in the UAW Chrysler Department from 2008 until she retired in 2016.














Read more: http://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/chrysler/2017/08/19/feds-fiat-chrysler-and-uaw-execs-werevp-told-uaw-execs-if-you-see-something-you-want-feel-free-buy-i/581715001/

Are goats taking jobs from union workers?


A battle is brewing at Western Michigan University this summer between a group of hungry goats and a labor union.
The 400-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has filed a grievance contending that the work the goats are doing in a wooded lot is taking away jobs from laid-off union workers.

"AFSCME takes protecting the jobs of its members very seriously and we have an agreed-upon collective bargaining agreement with Western Michigan," said Union President Dennis Moore. "We expect the contract to be followed, and in circumstances where we feel it's needed, we file a grievance."

The grievance alleges that the university did not notify the union that it was planning to use goat crews on campus, according to a chief steward report supplied to the Battle Creek Enquirer.

University spokeswoman Cheryl Roland said a small goat crew has been on campus this summer, but not to cut grass.
"For the second summer in a row, we've brought in a goat crew to clear undergrowth in a woodlot, much of it poison ivy and other vegetation that is a problem for humans to remove," Roland said. "Not wanting to use chemicals, either, we chose the goat solution to stay environmentally friendly.


http://www.freep.com/story/news/2017/07/06/goats-taking-jobs-union-workers/455237001/

Serious question about immigration & the economy

With the recent Immigrant's Day to bring attention all to the positive aspects that immigrants provide to our economy, I have a sincere question. Obviously, anyone with intelligence would agree that our economy is strengthened with the presence of all immigrants regardless of legal status. I assume that the vast majority of people that emigrate to the US to work are some of the hardest working and most industrious.

Wouldn't that also mean that the economies of their countries of origin are therefore weakened by them leaving?

Supervisor says some Detroit poll workers not capable of doing the job


http://www.freep.com/story/news/columnists/rochelle-riley/2016/12/16/riley-supervisor-poll-workers-not-capable-job/95495230/

Rochelle Riley , Detroit Free Press Columnist

Janice Winfrey should have called a news conference last January and said Detroit could not run its 2016 elections effectively without people stepping up to replace aging, incapable poll workers. Had she done that, the Detroit city clerk, who was widely praised for transforming the department when she ousted former Clerk Jackie Currie in 2005, would not be facing a firestorm of criticism over mishandled voter ballots and malfunctioning machines. She also wouldn’t have had some precincts where capable veterans worked alongside some people who could not read, weren’t properly trained, weren’t mobile and didn’t know how to use new electronic polling books that long ago replaced paper sheets, one veteran polling supervisor who has worked the polls for 30 years asserted Thursday.

“The one thing I noticed — and this is where the problem is cropping up — is that a lot of folks have mobility issues and other issues,” said Christopher Flournoy, 52, a residential home improvement salesperson who lives in Russell Woods. Flournoy has been working the polls since he was in his 20s, and said things are not as they should be. “I have personally been shocked when I go to training,” he said. “They do provide training and you’ll see people come in on walkers and with crutches, and the one thought I had is how on earth are they going to carry on their responsibilities as an elections inspector?

“The biggest problem is training — and I don’t like to say disparaging things — but the trainers are not trained to provide instruction. They’re winging it. They don’t have people who have been trained to provide training to adults. It becomes a gripe session about the previous election. You get handed some materials and nobody says good luck, but that’s implied. You’ll figure out as you go along."
The average age of poll workers nationwide is 68.

Detroit workers are older,  Winfrey said earlier this week. And the work is grueling —  15-18 hours with only two one-hour meal times and two other 15-minute breaks. “We’re getting older folks doing it because they’ve always done it like me, and we’re getting another group doing it because it’s an easy way to make a $150,” Flournoy said. “I’ve had workers in precincts I supervise who couldn’t read. They absolutely could not read and couldn’t operate the computer,” he said, adding that Winfrey should return to giving the aptitude test she created when she was first elected. “That’s where it goes back to — training. Training is supposed to be mandatory, but I’ve had people to show up and say ‘No, I didn’t do training, but they gave me a credential.' ”

Records: 95 Detroit poll books missing for several days



http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2016/12/15/records-detroit-poll-books-missing-several-days/95476742/

The Detroit News

Detroit elections officials waited several days to deliver nearly 100 poll books to Wayne County officials charged with certifying the presidential election, newly released documents show. County clerk officials on Thursday released a memo to State Elections Director Chris Thomas that said 95 poll books from the 662 precincts weren’t available at the start of the canvass, which began the day after the Nov. 8 election. Five of those poll books, which contain the names of voters and ensure the integrity of elections, were never delivered to county canvassers and presumably remain missing.

The revelation comes atop other irregularities that have prompted a state audit. Among other issues, The Detroit News reported this week that voting machines registered more votes than they should have in one-third of all city precincts. “I’m not happy with how Detroit handled this election at all,” said Krista Hartounian, chairwoman of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, which certified the election.“We had been seeing improvement, but this one was different. This one was off.”

Canvassers compare poll books with printouts from voting machines to ensure the number of people who signed in to vote match the number of ballots cast.

In heavily Democratic Detroit, the numbers didn’t match in 392 of 662 precincts or 59 percent. The discrepancies emerged during a statewide presidential recount that began last week and ended Friday following a decision by the Michigan Supreme Court.Democrat Hillary Clinton overwhelmingly prevailed in Detroit and Wayne County, but Republican President-elect Donald Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes.

Records: Too many votes in 37% of Detroits precincts

Source: Detroit News

Voting machines in more than one-third of all Detroit precincts registered more votes than they should have during last months presidential election, according to Wayne County records prepared at the request of The Detroit News.

Detailed reports from the office of Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett show optical scanners at 248 of the citys 662 precincts, or 37 percent, tabulated more ballots than the number of voters tallied by workers in the poll books. Voting irregularities in Detroit have spurred plans for an audit by Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnsons office, Elections Director Chris Thomas said Monday.

The Detroit precincts are among those that couldnt be counted during a statewide presidential recount that began last week and ended Friday following a decision by the Michigan Supreme Court. Democrat Hillary Clinton overwhelmingly prevailed in Detroit and Wayne County. But Republican President-elect Donald Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes or 47.5 percent to 47.3 percent.

Overall, state records show 10.6 percent of the precincts in the 22 counties that began the retabulation process couldnt be recounted because of state law that bars recounts for unbalanced precincts or ones with broken seals. The problems were the worst in Detroit, where discrepancies meant officials couldnt recount votes in 392 precincts, or nearly 60 percent. And two-thirds of those precincts had too many votes.

Read more: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2016/12/12/records-many-votes-detroits-precincts/95363314/

I bet there are 730 people that feel differently

So apparently Chuck Jones would have been happier if they all went away?

There may have been a lot of BS here, but I bet the 730 people that kept their jobs are pretty damn happy about it

Report puts Detroit kids' chronic absenteeism at nearly 58%

Source: Detroit Free Press

A new report on chronic school absenteeism says half of the country's chronically absent kids are in just in 4% of school districts — including Detroit, where more than half the kids in the city's school system are chronically absent.

Detroit is one of the cities, along with Philadelphia, Baltimore, Milwaukee and Cleveland, highlighted in the report released publicly today.

Chronic absence occurs when a child misses so many days of school — whether the absences are excused, unexcused or suspensions — that it negatively impacts his or her academic achievement.

The report, created by Attendance Works and the Everyone Graduates Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, said nearly 58% of students in Detroit's school system are chronically absent. The national rate is about 13%.



Read more: http://www.freep.com/story/news/education/2016/09/06/chronic-absenteeism-detroit/89784112/
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