GM says former UAW Vice President Joe Ashton to resign from board

(Reuters) - General Motors Co said on Wednesday Joseph Ashton, a former United Auto Workers vice president who led the union’s GM department, has resigned from the company’s board.

Ashton was nominated to his GM board seat by the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits trust, which administers funds that pay for health benefits for UAW-GM retirees. (

The trust can nominate a replacement for Ashton, but shareholders won’t vote on the trust’s nominee until the company’s next annual meeting in the spring, a GM spokesman said.

The U.S. Justice Department is looking into the use of money at UAW managed training centers funded by GM and Ford Motor Co, and into charities established by senior UAW officers.

General Motors and Ford said last month they were cooperating with the investigation into the finances of training centers.

GM is conducting its own investigation of the UAW-GM Center for Human Resources, the company spokesman said, but did not provide details of that investigation.

Ashton has not been charged with any wrongdoing, and federal authorities have not disclosed that he is under scrutiny as part of their probe.

Federal officials expanded their probe of the UAW training centers after charging a former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV vice president of making $1.2 million in improper payments to a former union vice president and his wife. Four people have been charged in the Fiat Chrysler investigation.

Reporting by Joe White in Detroit and Mekhla Raina in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri