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GM wants judge removed from lawsuit against rival

GM is suing a rival, accusing FCA of getting an advantage by paying off union leaders to reduce labour costs during contract talks. FCA’s former labour chief, Al Iacobelli, is in prison, although the company denies that it directed any prohibited payments.

Borman described the lawsuit as a “nuclear option” that would be a “waste of time and resources” for years if he allows the case to move forward.

The judge ordered GM CEO Mary Barra and Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley to sit down without lawyers by July 1 and reach a “sensible resolution of this huge legal distraction.” Borman wants an update from them on a public video conference that same day.

In a court filing, GM called Borman’s order a “profound abuse“ of power.

“The court possesses no authority to order the CEOs of GM and FCA to engage in settlement discussions, reach a resolution and then appear alone at a pretrial conference eight days later, without counsel,” GM’s attorneys said.

“Second, the court has no business labeling a properly filed federal lawsuit assigned to the court for impartial adjudication ‘a distraction’ or a ‘nuclear option,’“ GM said.

Borman can’t be viewed as impartial, company lawyers said.

The judge declined to comment. There was no immediate comment from FCA.

Federal agents have been rooting out corruption in the senior ranks of the United Auto Workers. The first wave of convictions in 2017 involved key FCA employees who used money from a jointly run training centre to reward union officials.
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