FCA's Large Cars to Ride on As Supplier Strike Ends

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
fcas large cars to ride on as supplier strike ends

Car building will soon fire up again at Fiat Chrysler’s Brampton, Ontario assembly plant after employees at a just-in-time seat supplier called of their week-long strike. Late Friday, workers at Lear Ajax ratified a four-year wage contract with their employer.

Brampton Assembly, which builds the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, and Dodge Challenger, cancelled both shifts on Thursday after exhausting its limited seat supply. The new agreement between Lear and its Ajax workforce not only keeps seats flowing to FCA, it also keeps Lear from closing its doors for good.

The supplier’s workers overwhelmingly rejected an earlier contract offer, after which the company sent a letter to union leadership claiming it planned to close the plant. Lear Ajax previously turned out the lights in 2009, only to re-open the following year.

According to Unifor Local 222 President Colin James, the closure threat wasn’t a bargaining tactic. Lear did plan to pull the plug if workers rejected the second offer, James told Automotive News Canada. Go figure, the membership voted 72 percent in favor. The supplier’s employees did win out in the agreement, however, gaining a 15 percent wage increase over the length of the contract, plus a productivity bonus and retirement incentive.

“This was a difficult negotiation but in the end the bargaining committee and the company were able to come to an agreement that provides gains for the workers and keeps these good paying manufacturing jobs in Ajax,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias in a statement.

With business as usual returning to Lear, the same should occur at Brampton this coming week.

Exceptionally long in the tooth, FCA’s rear-drive cars (its only cars, really) are expected to soldier on until a delayed platform swap occurs in 2021. Knowing the automaker, that timeline could change. Originally, FCA planned to move its LX platform cars onto Alfa architecture by 2019.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Join the conversation
2 of 29 comments
  • Dividebytube Dividebytube on May 07, 2018

    I've decided to give in to the LX platform, a 6-speed manual Challenger R/T will be my next ride. I've never had a Chrysler product before but I'm interested in the RWD/large car segment, and with no B-Bodies and the age of the Panthers, where is there left to go?

  • Fenwayy Fenwayy on May 07, 2018

    They should get incentives for making more of those great"S" model seats. GOLD !!

  • Lou_BC "They are the worst kind of partisan - the kind that loves their team more than they want to know the truth."Ummm...yeah....Kinda like birtherism, 2020 election stolen, vast voter fraud, he can have top secret documents at Mar-lago, he's a savvy business man, and hundreds more.
  • FreedMike This article fails to mention that Toyota is also investing heavily in solid state battery tech - which would solve a lot of inherent EV problems - and plans to deploy it soon. https://insideevs.com/news/598046/toyota-global-leader-solid-state-batery-patents/Of course, Toyota being Toyota, it will use the tech in hybrids first, which is smart - that will give them the chance to iron out the wrinkles, so to speak. But having said that, I’m with Toyota here - I’m not sold on an all EV future happening anytime soon. But clearly the market share for these vehicles has nowhere to go but up; how far up depends mainly on charging availability. And whether Toyota’s competitors are all in is debatable. Plenty of bet-hedging is going on among makers in the North American market.
  • Jeff S I am not against EVs but I completely understand Toyota's position. As for Greenpeace putting Toyota at the bottom of their environmental list is more drama. A good hybrid uses less gas, is cleaner than most other ICE, and is more affordable than most EVs. Prius has proven longevity and low maintenance cost. Having had a hybrid Maverick since April and averaging 40 to 50 mpg in city driving it has been smooth driving and very economical. Ford also has very good hybrids and some of the earlier Escapes are still going strong at 300k miles. The only thing I would have liked in my hybrid Maverick would be a plug in but it didn't come with it. If Toyota made a plug in hybrid compact pickup like the Maverick it would sell well. I would consider an EV in the future but price, battery technology, and infrastructure has to advance and improve. I don't buy a vehicle based on the recommendation of Greenpeace, as a status symbol, or peer pressure. I buy a vehicle on what best needs my needs and that I actually like.
  • Mobes Kind of a weird thing that probably only bothers me, but when you see someone driving a car with ball joints clearly about to fail. I really don't want to be around a car with massive negative camber that's not intentional.
  • Jeff S How reliable are Audi? Seems the Mazda, CRV, and Rav4 in the higher trim would not only be a better value but would be more reliable in the long term. Interior wise and the overall package the Mazda would be the best choice.