United Auto Workers union settles civil charges in corruption probe with Justice Department

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Striking United Auto Workers members and supporters attend a speech by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders outside General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant on Sept. 25, 2019 in Detroit.

Michael Wayland / CNBC

DETROIT — Federal prosecutors plan to announce Monday measures to reform the United Auto Workers as part of a proposed civil settlement with the Justice Department in its multiyear corruption probe into the prominent American union.

U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider and UAW President Rory Gamble are scheduled to speak at a joint news conference in Detroit where prosecutors said they will announce details of the deal. Spokespeople for both sides declined to comment on the proposed settlement.

Gamble and Schneider have previously discussed settlements to reform the union, including possibly using an independent monitor. Schneider said in August that remained an option. The Detroit News previously reported the Justice Department proposed subjecting the UAW to 10 years of federal oversight, one of the longest periods of federal supervision in recent history.

When the federal investigation into the union was made public in July 2017, it focused on a jointly operated training center between the UAW and Fiat Chrysler. But it quickly expanded to probes into similar operations with General Motors and Ford Motor.

As of August, Schneider said Fiat Chrysler and Ford remained under investigation but prosecutors had investigated and cleared company officials with GM. The probe has led to convictions of 15 people, including two past UAW presidents, three Fiat Chrysler executives and a former GM board member who was a union leader.

The settlement could end the investigation, but wouldn’t necessarily stop federal officials from prosecuting additional people if other illegal activities are uncovered.

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