DETROIT — Greater scrutiny and stricter protocols at training centers jointly operated by the UAW and Detroit automakers have contributed to delayed or disputed payments from two centers to the union.
The overdue payments, detailed in the UAW's annual report to the Labor Department, included $2.7 million from the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center and roughly $501,600 from the UAW-GM Center for Human Resources, as of the end of last year.
Such arrears are not unprecedented, but last year's were uncharacteristically high.
The Ford counterpart, the UAW-Ford National Programs Center, was up to date on its payments.
The automakers' training centers are the main focus of a multiyear federal corruption investigation into the misuse of funds and prohibited payments from the company to union officials.
Although the centers are jointly operated by company and union officials, they are considered separate entities. They are funded by the automakers as part of the union's collective bargaining agreement; they then reimburse or pay the union for costs related to programs, training and other union-related business.
The overdue amounts, according to sources familiar with them, are partially a result of tighter checks and balances leading to delays in payment or potential disputes about costs or practices for the training centers.
Spokespeople for the companies and the union declined to comment on the delinquent payments, which were at least 90 days past due at year end.
Federal prosecutors have painted the UAW-FCA training center as the epicenter of a corruption scandal that included payoffs to pacify union officials and supplement UAW coffers. Eight people associated with the center — three from the company and five involved with the union — have been charged and pleaded guilty.
The investigation also encompasses GM and Ford, but no one from GM, Ford or their training centers has been charged with a crime.