No Turkey for Fiat Chrysler, Unifor as Monday Strike Deadline Looms

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
no turkey for fiat chrysler unifor as monday strike deadline looms

Canada, as the New York Times helpfully points out, actually celebrates Thanksgiving (!), but bargaining teams from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and autoworkers union Unifor won’t get to enjoy it.

The two groups are expected to bargain down to the last minute as contract talks approach Monday night’s strike deadline, the Windsor Star reports. Unlike recent bargaining between Unifor and General Motors, the FCA negotiations have been whisper quiet, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t action happening behind the scenes.

Unifor Local 444 president and bargaining team head Dino Chiodo tells the Star that negotiations will likely “go down to the wire,” adding, “Nobody is going home for Thanksgiving.”

Reportedly, a key request in this round of contract talks has gone unanswered by FCA. Unifor, which represents Detroit Three autoworkers in Canada, wants automakers to commit to plant investments. The union local wants investments in FCA’s Brampton assembly plant and Etobicoke casting facility, but so far, FCA hasn’t budged.

The GM-Unifor deal has led to strife within the union, and FCA isn’t happy about it either. Under pattern bargaining, the first deal struck with an automaker guides the bargaining that follows. Unifor secured pay raises for new hires from GM, while sticking to its 10-year pay grid. That differs from the previous contract, which saw entry-level pay frozen at the same rate for the first three years.

If FCA agrees to that model, costs will rise at its Windsor assembly plant. The facility recently hired 1,200 workers to produce the Pacifica minivan.

Meanwhile, a union local representing Ford workers at the Oakville assembly plant slammed the GM deal, claiming it doesn’t like the 10-year pay grid. Dave Thomas, president of Unifor’s Local 707, says he wouldn’t have approved the agreement. (Ford is last in line in this round of contract negotiations.)

Those comments got under Chiodo’s skin, as the bargaining head calls the GM deal one of the “best economic deals in a decade.” The Ford unions negotiated the pay grid in 2012.

“When they led pattern, they established it and they got a big investment that hired 2,200 employees,” Chiodo told the Star. “So, it’s easy to poke criticism when they are at the receiving end of an investment.”

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Join the conversation
  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Oct 07, 2016

    Um, the operative words are UNION and COLLECTIVE. UNIFOR represents them all so why would one local expect different treatment than another local? I'm sure they would fare so much better in a "right to work" state.

    • See 1 previous
    • Onion head Onion head on Oct 07, 2016

      Bet the new hires are saying the same thing...hypocrite.

  • Zip89123 Zip89123 on Oct 07, 2016

    Don't bite the hand that feeds you folks. You will accomplish more 99% of the time staying on the job, using your sick time, slowing down the line, leaving a loose nut or two in the bottom of the door......

    • See 7 previous
    • Zip89123 Zip89123 on Oct 10, 2016

      @mikey Don't need the union to promote anything. The employee's can do it for themselves. If they're going on strike they have nothing to lose.

  • Bobbysirhan I suppose this explains why almost everything that makes a GM product function has been Chinese for several years now.
  • Kevin 35 grand if a 2 door but not a 4 door!
  • Kevin 35 grand USD for a 57 wagon that still needs lots of work such as spindles body work and what ever else maybe 25 but 35 no thanks I'll stick with what I have. Floor pans replaced and whatever else my 68 chevelle I paid $4800.00 USD 20 years ago and is all original.
  • FreedMike Needs a few more HP to really spice things up...
  • Oberkanone Absolute insanity on our public roads! A danger to society. Bravo Dodge!