PSLabor News

PSLabor News

Spare UAW exec's widow from prison, lawyer says The Detroit News Published 9:31 p.m. UTC Jun 29, 2018 Monica Morgan-Holiefield walks into the federal court building with her attorney, Steve Fishman, before pleading guilty to a tax crime but blamed others for a $1.5 million corruption. Todd McInturf / The Detroit News Detroit — Monica Morgan-Holiefield, the widow of former United Auto Workers Vice President General Holiefield, should be spared prison time for a tax crime because she has repaid more than $100,000 and is unlikely to offend again, her attorney said Friday. The request comes two weeks before the 55-year-old Harrison Township resident will be sentenced for filing a false tax return. She pleaded guilty in February in exchange for federal prosecutors dropping a five-year conspiracy charge and other counts stemming from a $1.5 million corruption scandal involving the United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV. The ongoing federal investigation has led to criminal charges against seven people, caused upheaval at the top ranks of the auto industry and raised questions about the sanctity of labor negotiations. Morgan-Holiefield should be held responsible for the tax crime, not the sins of her late husband or conduct that was detailed in a conspiracy charge dropped by prosecutors, defense lawyer Steve Fishman wrote in a sentencing memorandum Friday. "This is an extremely difficult case," Fishman wrote. "On the one hand, Ms. Morgan has committed a serious offense by filing a false tax return. On the other hand, as shown in both the pre-sentence report and the supporting letters received by the court, she has led an exemplary life in this community and has endeared herself to a cross-section of people for a variety of reasons. The wild card, of course, and one which defense counsel fervently hopes this court will ignore, is the drumbeat from the media wishing and hoping for a prison sentence." The plea marked a stark downfall for Morgan-Holiefield, a celebrated photographer who portrayed a lavish lifestyle on social media and in society columns – a lifestyle prosecutors said was secretly bankrolled by money that was supposed to help train blue-collar UAW workers. Terms of the plea deal call for Morgan-Holiefield to spend more than two years in federal prison and pay almost $191,000 restitution to the government. She already has paid $102,984, Fishman noted. She will be sentenced July 13 by U.S. District Judge Paul Borman. The court could sentence Morgan-Holiefield to time in a halfway house or subject her to electronic monitoring, Fishman noted. "It could also require her to perform community service, perhaps by teaching photography to aspiring students," Fishman wrote. "These options short of prison would recognize both the seriousness of the offense and Ms. Morgan’s favorable history, characteristics, and community support." Morgan-Holiefield has an otherwise unblemished record and history of community involvement, Fishman said.  She is suffering from mental health problems and lingering effects of being accidentally shot by her late husband in 2013, her lawyer wrote. Monica Morgan-Holiefield, widow of General Holiefield, grieves as she and others cover her late husband. XXXXFamily members, UAW VIPS and members and friends pay their respects to UAW V.P. General Holiefield as they celebrate his life at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. Holiefield died Monday, March 9, after entering hospice care for pancreatic cancer at Harper Hospital on Friday, March 6. He was 61. (Todd McInturf , The Detroit News)2015. The Detroit News "Ms. Morgan’s physical and mental health are somewhat precarious . . . " Fishman wrote. "She was the victim of an accidental shooting which led to a host of other health issues, including a colostomy. She has suffered from fibromyalgia for over twenty years and has also been diagnosed with sleep apnea." She retains the support of numerous community members, Fishman said, including public officials, pastors and others.  Morgan-Holiefield was indicted last year in a case that offered a detailed look at how, according to the government, officials at Fiat Chrysler tried to tilt contract negotiations in the automaker’s favor by lavishing labor leaders with first-class airfare, expense accounts and hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal payments.  Some of the illegal payments to Morgan-Holiefield coincided with 2011 labor negotiations between Fiat Chrysler and the UAW, and were hidden behind an alias and sham companies, including a fake hospice, according to the government. "In this particular case, Monica Morgan intentionally took funds which were intended to train hard working men and women," Manny Muriel, special agent in charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation division in Detroit, said in a statement after Morgan-Holiefield pleaded guilty. The dismissed conspiracy charge, and related conduct alleged by the government, should not be considered at sentencing, Fishman wrote. ". . . the government had the opportunity if it so chose to take Ms. Morgan to trial on the far more serious count . . . ," Fishman wrote. rsnell@detnews.com (313) 222-2486 Twitter: @robertsnellnews Published 9:31 p.m. UTC Jun 29, 2018 Read Story
Dish Network and union negotiators spent more than four years discussing a contract for about 45 technicians and warehouse employees, but they still hadn’t reached an impasse in negotiations. Read Story
The Supreme Court’s much-pilloried Janus decision could actually prove to be a good thing in the long-run by democratizing labor unions. Read Story
Imposed terms for LIUNA 777 are on the table. But a judge blocked the county from imposing on SEIU 721. Read Story
General Motors Co. issued a stern warning to the Trump administration that it could shrink U.S. operations and cut jobs if tariffs are broadly... Read Story
General Motors warned Friday that it could be forced to cut jobs and raise prices on its cars if the President Donald Trump's confrontational approach on trade spirals into a trade war. Read Story
The joint venture between Tata and Thyssenkrupp ends years of uncertainty over the future of plants including the Port Talbot works in South Wales. Read Story
Supreme Court ruling NLRB v J Weingarten Inc said union-represented employees are entitled to union representation when facing disciplinary action... Read Story
Nevada unions have been operating under public-employee constraints for 65 years, and yet they have managed to thrive. Read Story
As labor reels from Supreme Court decision Wednesday, measures would hide members' contact information... Read Story
This will invariably send a signal to the market: more intrepid private-sector union members will push back on how their dues are retrieved. Read Story
In siding against public-sector unions in the blockbuster Janus v AFSCME case, the five Supreme Court justices in the majority argued that agency fees amount to forced endorsement of a union’s political agenda. Read Story
Press release distribution service that sends news to media outlets and individual reporters and editors, search engines, websites and content syndicators. Read Story
Healthcare workers at Providence Milwaukie (Ore.) Hospital voted in favor of unionization on June 14.... Read Story
In the Supreme Court’s Janus v. AFSCME ruling Wednesday, five of the justices sided with a plaintiff who argued that being forced to pay union dues violated his First Amendment rights to free speech, and rejected the claim from unions that mandatory fees are necessary to prevent “free riders” from... Read Story
ARLINGTON, Virginia — In response to a U.S. Department of Commerce Section 232 investigation into automobile and auto parts imports, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) once again expressed concern about using questionable national security arguments as a basis for import restrictions and the potential... Read Story
Ryanair passengers could face a wave of problems this summer when travelling to Spain.The airline's cabin crew are threatening to strike this summer if their... Read Story
Prosecutors raided the intelligence office of the National Police Agency on Wednesday as part of a probe into allegations that a ranking officer worked with Samsung Electronics to hamper labor union activities at one of its subsidiaries. Read Story
Tish James slams union targets Charter and Verizon, but misstates role in franchise dispute... Read Story
The United States Supreme Court recently handed down a major ruling in a case that may lead employers to increase use of arbitration agreements to manage the risk of costly class-action employment litigation. Read Story
The iconic motorcycle manufacturer said that the move was the “only sustainable option” to maintain its business in Europe, an increasingly vital market. Read Story
Sexual harassment, violence, and injuries are some of the reasons housekeepers and other hotel staff are expected to march on Wednesday. Read Story
Employees with the Quebec Liquor Corp. have voted in favour of giving its union a mandate for six strike days. Read Story
The American Federation of Teachers-affiliated lecturers’ union for the University of Michigan’s campuses at Flint, Ann Arbor and Dearborn reached a tentative contract agreement that includes substantial increases for minimum pay and equity adjustments depending on length of service. ... Read Story
United States President Donald Trump had expressed confidence Harley-Davidson would expand US manufacturing under his administration. Read Story
Time Warner Cable had the right to suspend four workers who attended a union “safety meeting” in the middle of a New York street, the National Labor Relations Board ruled. Read Story
The City Council votes on the proposal Tuesday night Read Story
The motorcycle maker blames EU tariffs for a decision to move some manufacturing overseas. Read Story
TORONTO (Reuters) – Bombardier Inc and its Canadian workers who assemble turboprops and the company’s new top-of-the-line business jet have reached a new labor agreement, averting a potential strike, the company said on Sunday. Read Story
Bombardier, Toronto union reach new agreement, averting strike... Read Story
General Motors Co is going ahead with its plan to manufacture the new Chevrolet Blazer SUV in Mexico, a spokesman for the automaker said on Thursday, despite criticism by U.S. President Donald Trump over making vehicles abroad. Read Story