On Wednesday night, as the deadline for strike action came closer and closer, the United Auto Workers-Fiat Chrysler Automobiles National Bargaining Committee announced they had “secured significant gains” over the last proposed tentative agreement that was widely rejected by UAW membership.
Details on the new agreement were not published.
The new proposed agreement averts a strike — for now — and will be sent Friday to local union leaders that comprise the UAW National Chrysler Council for discussion and voting.
“We heard from our members, and went back to FCA to strengthen their contract,” said UAW President Dennis Williams early Thursday morning in a statement. “We’ve reached a proposed Tentative Agreement that I believe addresses our members’ principal concerns about their jobs and their futures. We have made real gains and I look forward to a full discussion of the terms with our membership.”
FCA acknowledged they reached a new proposed tentative agreement with the union, but declined to give specifics due to the pending vote by UAW members.
Negotiators for the United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are working to avoid a strike as a deadline looms Wednesday for 40,000 workers at the automaker’s plants.
Reuters reported (via Automotive News) that talks were ongoing to move forward or present a new four-year contract to workers after hourly employees roundly rejected the last proposed deal. The Detroit Free Press reported that employees voiced displeasure with the “alternative work schedules” in the contract that would keep workers on four, 10-hour shifts instead of five, 8-hour shifts, sometimes switching between late night and early morning shifts within days.
The last strike at Chrysler plants lasted for only 6.5 hours in 2007.
United Auto Workers at a Kokomo, Indiana plant have given notice to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles that it would strike Wednesday night, Automotive News reported. The notice is reportedly being used at other plants.
The automaker acknowledged the notification via a statement released Tuesday:
FCA US confirms that it has received strike notification from the UAW. The Company continues to work with the UAW in a constructive manner to reach a new agreement.
United Auto Workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles officially rejected a proposed contract that would have raised wages for workers, but didn’t eliminate the tiered pay system for veteran and newly hired workers.
Reuters reported that 65 percent of the 40,000 union workers voted against the contract. Reports said that workers voiced concerns that the contract didn’t raise wages enough; created a lower-paid, “third” tier for parts and axle operations workers; and few details were provided for the health care co-op.
FCA relies heaviest among domestic automakers on lower-paid Tier 2 workers. Approximately 45 percent of hourly workers at FCA plants are Tier 2 workers.
United Auto Workers at the Kansas City, Missouri plant that produces Ford F-150s may strike as early as Sunday if the automaker doesn’t “negotiate in good faith,” according to Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president:
The challenges we face may not be easy, and I certainly cannot predict the future, but I would rather die fighting than to do an injustice to this membership or our institution.
Settles wrote to union members that issues such as “manpower provisions, the national heat stress program, and skilled trades scheduling amongst others” prompted the threatened strike at the Kansas City plant.
United Auto Workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Jefferson North Assembly Plant and its Kokomo Transmission Plant voted down a contract proposal over the weekend, marking the latest and perhaps the most significant defeat to the union’s proposal, the Detroit Free Press reported.
According to reports, 66 percent of the workers, who build Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos at the Jefferson facility, vetoed the contract.
The contract faces an uncertain future with the rest of UAW workers at FCA, and while overall passage is mathematically possible, the growing rate of rejection doesn’t look particularly promising.
Two more local unions rejected the proposed four-year contract deal between FCA US and the UAW Friday, adding to the growing opposition as voting continues.
Hourly employees at FCA’s stamping facility in Sterling Heights and parts operation in Warren, Michigan aren’t exactly thrilled with the deal they’ve been presented.
According to The Detroit News, more than half of hourly workers at the two locations have voted “no” to the new contract.
Detroit parts and axle operations workers Wednesday voted against a four-year contract proposed by the United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the Detroit News reported.
About 700 Local 1248 workers in Warren, Michigan, turned down the proposal and said Wednesday that the contract created a third, unfair pay tier for Mopar workers that would cap their wages at a lower rate than Tier 1 and Tier 2 workers at FCA.
Under the proposed contract, veteran Tier 1 workers could receive pay raises up to $30 an hour, and newer, Tier 2 workers’ pay could go up to $25 an hour. Parts and axle operations workers pay would top out at $22 and $22.35 per hour, respectively.
Included in the United Auto Workers latest round of negotiations was language that protected workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles from discrimination based on gender identity.
“During this round of bargaining the union expressed the importance of the parties both maintaining and strengthening policies that ensure the equal treatment of all employees,” the union wrote in its white paper to members.
Michigan and Ohio do not protect workers from discrimination based on gender identity, according to the ACLU. Only Illinois, where FCA currently builds the Dodge Dart, Jeep Compass and Patriot at its Belvidere plant, has a law that protects workers from gender-identity discrimination. (Read More…)