GM and FCA lawsuit presided over by a judge leaving a trail

GM and FCA lawsuit presided over by a judge leaving a trail

Regardless of how you get your news, there isn’t much going on to feel all that hopeful about. But then I came across this post which definitely caught my eye. A federal judge is really tired of GM and FCA shit.

For those of you who find the topic of cars about as interesting as discussing the details of a route canal, let me enlighten you a bit on the subject above concerning General Motors and Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (GM and FCA).

In November of 2019, GM filed a racketeering lawsuit against FCA alleging bribery and corruption with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union. GM claims that unfair bargaining has cost them some $6 billion, which is the damages they are seeking from FCA in the lawsuit.

As you might expect, FCA vehemently denies the claims while GM boasts they have “a very strong case”. While the pair has been sparring back and forth, a federal judge finally proved to me there still may be hope for our society – there still may be some leaders who know how to lead.

Here’s what Judge Paul Borman of the U.S. District Court in Michigan had to say.

The world has changed dramatically since this case was filed on November 20, 2019. This city, this state, and this country need healing. The COVID-19 pandemic, and its impact on the health of this country, requires our attention here and now!

Just as important, is our response to the tragic death of George Floyd, that has brought to the forefront the long-standing issues of racial discrimination, and social justice, that require our attention and solution, here and now!

What a waste of time and resources, now and for the years to come in this mega litigation, if these automotive leaders and their large teams of lawyers, are required to focus significant time-consuming efforts to pursue this “nuclear option” lawsuit, if it goes forward.

A Huge Legal Distraction from GM and FCA

When was the last time you heard a judge call “bull shit” on a large-scale case brought into his or her courtroom? I felt like cheering, “Finally, the legal system is not going to allow the courts of America to be turned into a circus, wasting the time and money of so many people!”

It gets better.

In 2008, and going forward, the Federal Government focused on rescuing GM and Chrysler, by providing billions of dollars in aid. That saved GM and Chrysler, now FCA, and tens of thousands of UAW auto workers’ jobs. Today our country needs, and deserves, that these now-healthy great companies pay us back, by also focusing on rescuing this country and its citizens from the plagues of COVID-19, racism, and injustice.

Amen to that! He concludes:

I am ordering that no later than July 1, 2020, just the two CEOs, Mary Barra and Michael Manley (GM and FCA), meet in person (social distancing), to reach a sensible resolution of this huge legal distraction. Time is of the essence. So, I repeat; Mary Barra and Michael Manley, meet face-to-face, in good faith, and with good will, to resolve this huge legal diversion, to permit you and your companies to also fully focus your talents on healing this country as we all embark on the critical road ahead.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Judge Paul Borman could have followed the path that so many other judges and legal professionals have taken. But instead, he chose to go where there is no path and leave a trail – a trail I’m hopeful others in positions of power will take notice of, learn from and implement.

While this is nothing more than a dispute between two rival car companies, GM and FCA, Judge Borman reminded us that we need strong leaders, especially during challenging times, to call “bull shit” every now and then. To force us to sit down with one another to debate, to disagree and to come to a compromise which enables both parties to move forward quickly and constructively.

Judge Borman has that kind of leadership. Here’s hoping it will be contagious.


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