The tentative pact between the United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reached Tuesday evening may eventually end the two-tiered pay system for thousands of workers at the automaker, Reuters reported.
FCA chief executive Sergio Marchionne said the agreement would do away with the separate system “over time.” Roughly 45 percent of FCA’s workforce was hired at the lower, Tier 2 pay, which is roughly $9 less per hour than older, Tier 1 workers.
According to the report, raises for both classifications of workers would be likely, although details weren’t discussed.
Automakers may try to negotiate a massive health care co-op with the United Auto Workers — similar to the one it has with its retirees — and potentially change private health care in the U.S., Bloomberg is reporting.
At issue are the roughly 300,000 workers and beneficiaries, and 750,000 retirees and their families who rely on the UAW for health care.
The pool of more than one million workers and their families could give the Big Three unprecedented negotiating power with U.S. hospitals and clinics.
The 12-person protest that took place at Chrysler’s Warren, Michgan truck plant got little notice in the automotive news cycle, save for a couple of mentions on the usual aggregators. In truth, it’s not the juiciest story to sell in this click-driven wasteland, though these stories tend to raise the most interesting questions. This example highlights an issue that is going to dog the UAW for some time – how will the UAW control their workers when they are also the owners?
The Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association, or VEBA, was initiated as a way to get retiree healthcare costs off the books of Detroit’s auto makers. While VEBA makes balance sheets look better, they are still an exorbitant legacy costs for the Big Three, and things are about to get a lot worse.
The United Auto Workers and the Detroit automakers have been locked in negotiations for months now, as both sides seek to redefine their relationship in the post-bailout era. And though all sides have stressed the importance of avoiding intractable disputes in an alleged new spirit of cooperation, it seems that the prospects of a quick, painless conclusion to negotiations remains elusive. The UAW’s contracts with Chrysler and GM both blew past their deadlines at midnight last night, and Ford, the only manufacturer at theoretical risk of a strike, extended negotiations earlier this week. TTAC has not covered these negotiations in much depth for the simple reason that little information leaks out of them. But with contracts expiring and optimistic rhetoric crashing on the rocks of reality, the frustration is clearly starting to boil over. And who is surprised that Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is the first to let his frustration show?
Ford has wrapped up some much-needed financial wrangling today, as it struggles with with its monstrous pile of debt. According to Automotive News [sub], Ford transferred $13.2b in debt and about $4b in cash to the UAW-run health care trust fund, completing a long-awaited liability consolidation. $1.4b of the transfer was a scheduled payment on a $6.7b note, while $500m more was a prepayment on that note. Ford paid $610m (cash) on another $6.5 billion note, transferred $620m from a temporary account and $3.5b from an internal VEBA fund and handed over warrants to purchase 362 million shares of Ford common stock at $9.20 per share. All together, the move reportedly adds $7b in debt to Ford’s balance sheet.