Steel Markets

UAW FCA Workers Vote on Tentative Agreement

Written by Sandy Williams

The UAW has released the details of the proposed 4-year agreement with Fiat Chrysler. Employee reaction to the tentative agreement was mixed at local unions. There were tough questions and criticisms to respond to at the informational meetings held by the leaders of the bargaining committee.

UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell, who was instrumental in the negotiations, told workers that neither the UAW nor the company got all of its demands. At a meeting at UAW Local 1700 he said:

Comments on the UAW Facebook site indicate workers are dissatisfied with the wage increases and continuation of the two-tier system. Many are calling for “no” vote on the contract.

“This new pay scale has not bridged any gap it has created a 3rd tier with the salaried employees. Don’t think about yourself think of all your brothers and sisters and vote no!,” said one Chrysler employee on the site.

The proposed 4-year agreement with FCA US for its hourly employees includes the following highlights:

 – Eligible members receive a $3,000 ratification bonus.
 – Traditional employees receive two 3 percent general wage increases, plus two 4 percent lump sums. Total guaranteed compensation is 19,000 in straight-time earnings.
 – In-progression employees receive general wage increase based on seniority, creating a maximum wage of $25.35. Total guaranteed increased compensation is up to $25,000 over the course of the agreement.
 – Other bonuses: all employees have the opportunity to earn bonuses with potential payouts between $4,000 and $13,000
 – A new health care co-op that is designed to maintain quality benefits and control costs for employees and the company
 – Profit-sharing improved for all employees; additional improvements for in-progression employees.
 – For the first time, employees will be permitted to use vacation in one-day increments.
 – Sixty-four paid holidays over the term of the agreement. Easter Monday restored.
 – Significant alternative work schedule changes.

The entire document can be viewed and downloaded at the UAW site.

In addition, to the items directly concerning employee wages and benefits, FCA has committed to invest $5.3 billion in the company over the life of the contract. The investment commits are:

Assembly Division: $3.4 billion.
Powertrain Division: $1.5 billion.
Stamping Division: $315 million.
Mopar Parts Distribution Center
Operations: $34 million.

Voting at the local unions will take place all this week. Jewell said he is hoping to have the votes on the proposed contract completed by next Monday (Sept. 28). The next company to be chosen for the negotiation process has not yet been revealed.

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