Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may double the amount of temporary workers it uses under a new deal negotiated with the United Auto Workers, Bloomberg reported (via Automotive News).
The negotiated terms include a provision for the automaker to use the workers any day of the week, instead of the previously allowed Monday, Friday and weekend shifts.
According to the report, the terms may have been negotiated as a way to keep labor costs lower and offer more workers raises. Temp workers are hired at rates lower than any of the tiered-pay scales. Temp workers can be terminated at any time by the automaker.
The separation between the two classifications of union employees — veteran Tier 1 and more recently hired Tier 2 — was a major point of contention for the workers, who voted down the proposed contract last week by a margin of nearly 2-to-1.
Roughly 40 percent of FCA’s union employees are Tier 2 workers, a much higher proportion than General Motors and Ford. On average, those employees are paid $9 to $12 less per hour less than workers hired before the recession. The proposed contract, according to the report, would not eliminate the tiered system, but instead bring closer the two pay scales. The contract also wouldn’t cap the number of Tier 2 workers hired by the automaker.
Union workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plants say that the contract, which does not specify production sites or moving plans — such as shifting truck and car production — doesn’t assuage concerns that more jobs will be lost to Mexico.
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.
United Auto Workers members working for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could get a $3,000 bonus to ratify its newest contract in the next few days, Bloomberg reported.
The bonus will be on top of raises for the workers, something that the UAW stressed in its negotiations with the automaker. Tier 1, veteran workers, could see pay raises to bump up hourly wages to $30 an hour. Lower-paid, newly hired Tier 2 workers could get pay raises up to $25 hourly after eight years of employment.
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.
Representatives from the United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles agreed Tuesday to extend their contract on an “hour-by-hour” basis, Reuters reported. Workers reported Tuesday for their morning shifts, but those workers could walk out at any time if talks stall.
The UAW is disseminating a message of hope on its YouTube channel, letting the members know the negotiations are going to be rosey, everyone is getting a pony, and you absolutely totally shouldn’t question their ability to negotiate better contracts.