By on October 1, 2015

 

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.

It’s unclear what the UAW, which represents workers at Ford, General Motors and FCA plants, will do next. The union could re-negotiate a contract with FCA, turn its attention to talks with Ford or GM or call for a strike or reduced labor at FCA plants.

FCA posted the following statement after the contract was rejected:

FCA US is disappointed that UAW members voted not to ratify the tentative agreement.

The bargaining teams on both sides worked hard, for many days and nights, to craft a transformational agreement that would adequately reward the commitment of our workforce while ensuring the Company’s continued success and competitiveness. Striking the right balance in these two objectives has been the most difficult thing to accomplish in these negotiations, but after many hours of dialogue and debate between the UAW and FCA US leadership, the Company felt that a just and equitable compromise had been reached.

The memories of our near-death experience in 2009 are vivid to this day in the minds of most of us at FCA. A large number of new employees have been brought into the Group since then who, thankfully, did not have to endure the pain and sacrifices that were required of the workforce then.

But it is that knowledge and those memories that continuously reinforce the FCA leadership’s resolve to never let those events repeat.

While significant progress has been made since the events of less than seven years ago, much more work remains to be done and challenges remain while new, significant ones surface. The cyclical nature of the automotive business demands that while we must recognize the need for rewarding employees during times of prosperity, we must also protect against the inevitable market downturn. This agreement accomplished both of these objectives.

The tentative agreement was designed to yield a strong and competitive FCA US, thus providing stability for our workforce and opportunity for future growth and investment in an increasingly complex global marketplace.

The Company will make decisions, as always, based on achieving our industrial objectives, and looks forward to continuing a dialogue with the UAW.

The union released a statement from President Dennis Williams:

“As I said at the press conference: “What I love about our organization most of all is that no matter what we do, what action we take, the ultimate decision and the power of the union is our members and they make the final decision.”

That is the design of our constitution and who we are.

We will gather the issues together; notify FCA that further discussions are needed.

We don’t consider this a setback; we consider the membership vote a part of the process we respect.

We will be meeting with the UAW-FCA National bargaining committee and council to discuss the issues.”

Pass the popcorn.

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37 Comments on “Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Workers Reject Union Contract...”


  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    Yay!

    The ball is in Sergio’s court.

    Sock it to’m!

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    There’s too much heavy Obama going on in the world these days. Thank you to the UAW and FCA for providing some comic relief!

  • avatar
    redmondjp

    Well, so much for Sergio’s fast-track negotiations. I can’t wait for his explanation, hopefully recycling the “there are how many ways to hug thee” analogy.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    CJinSD, only the Uber-Liberal Left Democrat media are portraying O as some kind of heavy weight.

    He’s not. He’s a light-weight in real world goings on. That’s why Putin and other real leaders are traipsing all over O. No leadership skills.

    By comparison, Putin was a full Colonel in the former KGB, a beloved leader by the majority of his people who instills national pride in Russians.

    O’s got….. nuttin’. Not a leader. A divider, national disorganizer. I cannot remember the US of A ever having been more divided that it is now.

    I guess if someone is standing in O’s welfare line they would picture him with a Halo. But for those paying the bills, not so much. $19T and counting. Happy taxes, everyone!

    Nah, give me Bill Clinton, Shrub, whatever. At least things were better when they were in charge.

    But I’m with you on the comic relief the UAW provides us.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Flights leaving daily for Russia – feel free to jump on board if America isn’t your cup of tea.

      Also, go ahead set your hot tub time machine for 2007, as W’s great recession started to take hold. I’ll be just fine here where:
      – the economy is at full employment
      – the stock market has doubled
      – the federal budget deficit is falling
      – inflation is essentially nonexistent
      – relations with Cuba, Iran and Europe are improving
      – minimal terrorist acts by foreigners
      – people can marry whom they please
      – health insurance for an additional 9 million people

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Haha, VoGo,

        “… if someone is standing in O’s welfare line they would picture him with a Halo. But for those paying the bills, not so much. $19T and counting. Happy taxes, everyone!”

        I’m glad this guy worked for you, and with a 62.7% labor participation rate to boot!

        So he’s your hero!!! Maybe the other 37.3% non participating eligible workers are enjoying it as much as you.

        Only in America…..

        Dude, I’m happy for you that you got what you wanted. Enjoy paying for it.

        I worked too hard to get out of the working class and into the leisure class. Like McDonald’s, “I’m loving it!”

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        0% interest rates tell the tale. A recovery in need of a recovery.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Raise wages.

    Close the plant.

    Everyone declares victory.

  • avatar
    Ianw33

    Does anyone have any legit info on what qualifications they want for the entry level workers?

    Seems like it would be a decently enjoyable job bolting together cars for decent coin

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      You’d think. But nooooooooooooooooo…..

      • 0 avatar
        Ianw33

        Have you worked in the field and have real world experience to share? If so, i would love to hear it.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Ian, you should have read my comments on ttac since the days of Robert Farago.

          Yes, I’ve been on that long.

          Most of the other B&B got sick and tired of my experiences, and told me so.

          And yes, I have more than 30 years of real-world experience in the US auto industry, as do four of my (now retired) brothers.

          • 0 avatar
            Ianw33

            Hmm, are there some articles that i should be looking at that would feature the comments you are talking about?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I would refer you to the ttac staff since the UAW wage/benefits topic has been addressed over many, many years, by many contributing writers and several editors-in-chief.

            Most of ttac’s current staff do not go back as far as the days of Ed Niedermeyer, and that is where the new, improved, better than ever ttac began, post Farago.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Working on the line in assembly plants is not what I would describe as fun. I have worked at maybe automotive factories as a contractor. Being on the line is an honest days work, but it can be monotonous.

      There aren’t too many qualifications for entry level workers. Pass a drug test and be ready to work your a$$ off. It helps to know someone.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        bbal, once you pass the drug test though, and get hired, you’re free to smoke and toke during your lunch break, remember?

        And then the UAW will keep you from getting fired even if you’re caught. Remember?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Well of course. I might as well have a beer on break too.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Lagunitas it is.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I like their IPA. And also pretty much every thing else they make.

            I haven’t had their barleywine or Gnarlywine (whatever they call it). I am not usually down with that, meadewine, or sour beer.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Where do you guys get this stuff? I’ve never heard of it in my area.

            Hey, I’m game when it comes to trying a tall cool one, as long as it does not look, taste or smell like horse p!ss.

            Been there and done that in Viet Nam, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.

            Just the thought of one of those beers makes me want to hurl.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I drink a fair amount of IPA. Lagunitas’ has too much residual sugar and maltiness. They should conquer their fear of hops. If you’re not going to spend the money for Sculpin, I’m partial to Stone IPA, Racer 5, and Sierra Nevada Torpedo. Pizza Port’s Swami IPA is pretty great too.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            CJ-

            I agree with you. I like Lagunitas IPA but I won’t buy it over a handful of others. Founders, Stone, Bells, Green Flash, Ballast Point, Rogue, and others have better IPAs. We don’t get Ballast Point out here, but I bring a bunch back when in AZ and CA. I love Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin. My go to lighter beer is Founder’s All Day IPA. It’s an excellent session IPA in a can I can drink at the lake.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The worst beer I’ve ever had is Tusker. It’s a Kenyan beer that is straight up terrible. My sister, who lives in Monterey and sends me Californian beer, and I decided it was the worst beer ever. In Nairobi, there isn’t much else.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @bball

            FAT TONY: You are listing my broken dreams.

            Mmmmmmm need a Founders *goes to open fridge*.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            28-

            CJ will be able to get Founders in CA now. My sister is all excited about it. She went to a Founders Kick off event in the Bay Area last night. Because she has a Michigan ID, they gave her free beer all night. She is going to another two events in the next week or so. Founders finally got big enough to handle the amount of beer they’ll need to ship out west.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Free beer all night? Wow.

        • 0 avatar
          nationalminer84

          That case went to Arbitration and the workers won. Why? because Chrysler did NOT follow the contract BOTH SIDES AGREED TO. Evidence used in a Discharge case basically must be a positive test given with just cause. If Rob Wolcheck actually cared about the safety of the workers and not making sensational television he would have Immediately called Chrysler so they could test these losers and get them…. The UAW is forced to, by law, fight for these workers. and by the letter of the contract Chrysler was wrong. I have no tolerance for pieces of s**t like that as it makes us all look bad but thats what happened….

  • avatar
    RHD

    Tier 4 is Mexico, Tier 5 is China, Tier 6 is Vietnam.
    Seriously, though, if 65 percent of the workers rejected the contract, you can be sure it was intolerably unacceptable.
    Whhy working people would be against organized labor is hard to fathom. Why would you favor the overpaid executives and management?
    The real truth does not come from a syndicated talk show on corporate AM radio.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Claw

      @RHD, because too many MURRICANS believe that they’ll be rich by osmosis, and they are merely temporarily embarrassed potential millionaires.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      The vast majority of working people are accountable and compensated for their performance. Why on earth would they support people who drive up the costs of things they need, often while reducing quality? Deal with some public employees and then get back to me on the admirability of union members. They wear SEIU t-shirts at my DMV. What a happy place.

  • avatar

    Tier One for Everyone, Solidarity Forever!

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      Regretfully, that ship has long since sailed . . .

      • 0 avatar
        nationalminer84

        hourly wage wise I don’t think it has, but they aren’t going to get the pension, and the Tier one guys aren’t going to get a raise to make it work. I’m union and I am just now getting to the wage these tier 1 guys got in 2007 after 3 contracts now…. if the tier one guys would take a wage freeze on the condition that tier 2 gets to the tier one wage at the end of the contract they would have bargaining power then and have eliminated tier 2. but they are too selfish to see that. it’s just sad.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Norwood Jewell (the UAW head at FCA) looks like a college prof.
    No wonder he didn’t bring home the bacon.

    Now Ron Gettlefinger, that guy could pound the table….

  • avatar
    BrunoT

    Just in time for a likely recession over the winter. GM may be glad to let them take the time off if that turns out to be the case.

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