DETROIT (WJBK) - A former Fiat-Chrysler executive and the widow of a former United Auto Workers vice president are both facing federal charges that they stole millions of pad their own pockets. The union says it did not affect the collective bargaining agreement.
Former UAW VP General Holiefield and Fiat Chrysler's chief negotiator Alphons Iacobelli were both indicted by federal officials on accusations that they bilked Fiat Chrysler out of $1.2 million, treating the automaker's training center as their personal piggy bank from 2009 until 2014.
The Holiefields are accused of taking more than $200,000 to pay off the mortgage of their lavish Harrison Township house.
General Holiefield passed away in 2015, but his wife Monica Morgan, who neighbors say is rarely seen at the house, is now facing conspiracy charges.
And Iacobelli - Fiat Chrysler's former vice-president for employee relations - who lives in a palatial estate in Rochester, reportedly paid for everything from a new pool to a new Ferrari with the training center funds. He is also facing federal charges.
Everyday workers, like Al Nelson, are just trying for a life a bit more modest.
"We just want to go to work, feed our families do a job and have a nice life," Nelson said. "There's so much that I don't know. All I can do is hope for the best and us union members ban together in solidarity and just hope everything comes out right."
Both Holifield and Iacobelli had a role to play in the union's most current contract with the automakers. Some question if the federal investigation voids the contract agreed to last year - something no workers want to encounter.
"The biggest problem is communication amongst the all the workers. I come here and I hear tons of gossip about what is going on," Chrysler employee Zack Wika.
"The main thing I would ask is that the leadership communicate with the workers and we are all well informed so we can make a conscious decision for a postive outcome," Nelson added.
Shortly after the federal indictment came down UAW President Dennis Williams issued this regarding the status of the current contract
"...the allegations in the indictment in no way call into question the collective bargaining contracts negotiated by our union during this period. The collective bargaining agreement was not controlled by General Holiefield. The 2011 collective bargaining agreement, which would have been the one negotiated during General Holiefield's term, passed through many hands, including the UAW President, and the agreement was patterned after others at Ford and GM."
Despite feeling uniformed on this matter currently, most workers i spoke with are confident this problem is being handled appropriately.
"I'm quite sure [that] behind this incident occurring, that we don't have to worry about anything bad going forward," Nelson said.