UAW workers have ratified a new four-year collective bargaining agreement with Fiat Chrysler in a 77 percent majority vote.
“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,” said UAW President Dennis Williams in a statement announcing the ratification.
The new contract will do away with the two-tier wage system through raising second tier wages to $29 per hour over the next eight years or less. Workers at all levels will receive bonuses and pay raises. The controversial health care co-op proposal was eliminated from the new contract.
FCA issued the following statement, “FCA US is pleased that UAW members have voted to ratify a new four-year national labor agreement. This agreement represents an investment in our U.S. workforce and recognizes its contributions to the company’s growth over the past six years. With the bargaining process now complete, the company and our employees can look forward to continuing to build world class products, investing in our operations and achieving the targets set out in our five year business plan.”
The ratification follows a sound rejection of the first proposal three weeks ago. Union workers complained about lack of communication between the bargaining committee and the membership. In the latest round of negotiations, workers were kept well informed of progress through regular updates and social media.
The UAW now moves forward to pursue a contract for UAW-GM members using the FCA contract as a template.
With strong profits for GM and Ford the UAW is expected to seek a more lucrative deal for employees. In the third quarter earning call, GM CFO Chuck Stevens said the company achieved 10.5 percent in third quarter in North America and plans to “sustain that 10% kind of margin on an ongoing basis.” Stevens noted that GMs operating circumstances are different than Fiat Chrysler but he is confident that a deal can be reached with the UAW.
“We’ll engage in a constructive way to come up with a contract that meets the needs of the business, the employees, and all of the stakeholders,” he said after GM announced third quarter earnings.
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