UAW May Pull Plug on FCA Work at Any Time

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

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.

On Monday, it became clear that the UAW would set its sights on FCA and their larger share of Tier 2 workers — workers hired after the recession at a lower hourly wage — as the union aims to “bridge the gap” between the two tiers.

According to the report, the union may opt to strike, stage a limited walkout or continue negotiations if talks reach an impasse.

Tier 2 workers comprise 45 percent of FCA’s union workforce, according to reports. Those workers, on average make $8-$10 less per hour than veteran, Tier 1 workers.

Lower paid, Tier 2 workers comprise 28 percent and 20 percent of Ford and General Motors’ workforces respectively.

FCA chief Sergio Marchionne has said he’d like to abolish the tiered-pay system, but set a base pay lower than the top tier and establish a profit sharing program for FCA workers. Last month, in a candid interview with Automotive News, Marchionne acknowledged that he’s played, um, hardball with the UAW before.

The UAW extended its midnight deadline with Ford and GM to focus on negotiations with FCA, according to reports.

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31 of 46 comments
  • Tresmonos Tresmonos on Sep 15, 2015

    The UAW has already 'lost' this round of negotiations. Ford has taken volume and shifted it from Michigan Assembly to Cuatitlan. Cuatitlan's product will be built Thailand. Mullaly initiated Home Depot on the path to globalization, now his influence at Ford has proven that this OEM can and will build US product in cost competitive markets in Asia. The Focus platform volume will likely be replaced with a niche volume product. Those are jobs that will likely never be recouped in my lifetime. The UAW was just introduced to a world outside of NAFTA, and they don't seem to realize it yet.

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    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Sep 16, 2015

      @bball40dtw Lou_BC, you omitted that America supplied ALL of the Allies in WWII, to include Russia, the UK, Canada, Free-French, Free-Dutch, Polish, Free-Norwegian, et al, during and after the conflict. Where FDR and his administration had been apologists and isolationists, like the current O'b*m* administration is, it took the bombing of Pearl Harbor to get FDR's undivided attention. O'b*m*'s War (aka OW!) will be with us a whole lot longer than Shrub's War if had it not been prematurely stopped. No doubt this will create more jobs in America for the "guns" side of the "guns vs butter" equation.

  • Wrxtasy Wrxtasy on Sep 15, 2015

    I have said it once and Ill say it a million times: the worst thing to ever happen to this country was convincing a whole generation of people that it is not noble to make a living with your hands. It has bred an entire army of smug twenty and thirty somethings with Sociology degrees who believe manual labor of any kind is below them. Had we as many trade school grads as we do liberal arts grads, perhaps that gaping void that was once occupied by the middle class might be filled a bit and generate some change among now-destructive unions such as the UAW. Perhaps.

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    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Sep 16, 2015

      @ClutchCarGo I agree. My dad was puled out of Grade 8 during the Great Depression to work the failing family farm. As he got older he left home and worked his way across the country sending money home to help support his family. The guy never had a real childhood or an easy go of it. He did eventually start his own small trucking business and did okay. He kept telling my brother and I to get an education. He used to say, "Lift with your brain and not your back because eventually your back will give out". I'm happy I took his advice.

  • Xeranar Xeranar on Sep 15, 2015

    All the armchair industrialists are excitedly clearing their schedules to cheer their overlords on at smacking down their fellow workers in the name of class and cynicism. Let the bemoaning at people making a fair pay for their labor and effort commence! *munches popcorn from the sideline* Oh this is too hilarious to read.... Anyways, the 'hour-to-hour' threat of a walkout is pretty much standard tactics, the fact that TTAC knows their audience is largely anti-union makes this writing slant towards the idea that they're planning on marching when arguably FCA's plan to lower all pay rates and do a profit sharing model is admirable but given the nature of profit sharing in large multinationals tend to lead to asset and profit hiding when the next regime decides they don't want to share I would be hesitant to accept as well. Fight the good fight, Unionists. The sniveling armchair capitalists are fun to watch but they don't amount to much at the end of the day.

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    • CJinSD CJinSD on Sep 17, 2015

      @CJinSD You've got some buzzwords, but no argument to make with them. You want to pick and choose who gets to make money based on preferences you don't even try to understand. The progressives want nothing less than they want universal prosperity. They think they don't want conditions to improve for the deprived because it would tax the planet, but really it is because their masters would feel less special and have a harder time enjoying exclusive access to what they hold dear. Doesn't everyone hate hearing Jetskis buzzing around near their yachts? Capitalism is just an obfuscating term for freedom. Without private property rights we're all slaves or serfs. Nothing you create can ever be yours without capitalism. All your labor is for your master. How does me wanting my capital to be used in a place where wages are tied to performance make me a bad capitalist? I don't want the union cancer; with its hatreds, hindrances to accountability, and restrictive work rules anywhere near my industry. That's not exploitative. That's just experience combined with what used to be considered common sense. Compare my logical position to yours, where you find yourself attacking the right of people to make a living who live in small towns. You're a blight on mankind.

  • SoCalMikester SoCalMikester on Sep 15, 2015

    wouldnt surprise me if this was another crazy sergio scheme. stage a little walkout on a slow model (any) for a day or two and try to give the UAW a little respect back. see? look what happens! GM and ford had better watch out! "mamma mia! we have given them the effing... now they give us effing back"