Union Workers Approve New Contract With FCA
United Auto Workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plants voted to overwhelmingly approve a contract with the automaker three weeks after turning back its first proposal, the union reported.
According to a statement posted on the UAW’s website, 77 percent of hourly production, 72 percent of skilled trades and 87 percent of salaried bargaining unit workers approved the contract.
“The recent bargaining process that took place on behalf of our members at FCA is a testament to the UAW’s democratic values and commitment to our members. The resolve of our membership and the dedication of our negotiating team has produced an agreement that affords UAW members a strong wage package and job security while still allowing the company to competitively produce high quality vehicles for our customers,” UAW President Dennis Williams said in a statement.
The second proposal scrapped a health care co-op and brought closer the two-tier wage system. Newer-hired, second-tier workers could see their wages rise to $29 per hour after eight years of employment under the second deal. Veteran, first-tier workers would be paid roughly the same. The first proposal only raised wages for Tier 2 workers up to $25.35 an hour.
“UAW members at FCA have obtained a strong agreement that provides substantial wage gains, fairness in the workplace, and job security. Because of the strength and support from our membership, our bargaining team was able to negotiate a contract which promises a secure future for our members, their families and their communities.” UAW FCA US Vice President Norwood Jewell said in a statement.
The newly approved contract also included a “ratification bonus” for workers ranging from $3,000 to $4,000 for workers.
According to the Detroit News, the contract only faced significant opposition at the automaker’s Toledo, Ohio plant, which produces the Wrangler. Only 55 percent of workers there approved the contract, according to the newspaper.
The UAW may turn its attention now to negotiations with Ford or General Motors, or both. Although the negotiated contracts with those automakers would be significantly different, the ratified deal with FCA workers could provide a framework, including the scrapped health care co-op.
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