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UAW ratifies contract despite split results

by Bill Cawthon on

A majority of UAW members at Chrysler Group LLC have voted in favor of ratification of the tentative agreement between the UAW and Chrysler.

The results of voting conducted over the past two weeks are as follows:
Total Hourly Bargaining Unit (HBU), 54.75 percent voted for the agreement; including Skilled Trades 45.25 percent voted against the agreement
Skilled Trades only 44.41 percent voted for the agreement; 55.59 percent voted against the agreement
Salaried Bargaining Unit (SBU) 68.80 percent voted for the agreement; 31.20 percent voted against the agreement

Because a majority of UAW skilled trades members voted against the tentative hourly agreement, under the UAW Constitution, the UAW International Executive Board (IEB) investigated the reasons skilled members voted against the proposed agreement and determined that these reasons were predominantly economic and not unique to skilled trades members. Accordingly, the IEB declared the agreements ratified under the UAW Constitution.

“With this agreement, we have made significant progress in times of economic uncertainty,” said UAW Vice President General Holiefield. “We were able to make headway in bridging the gap between the New Hire pay and that of the existing workforce, return some of the benefits that members previously gave up to help the company survive, and win new jobs and investment in UAW plants.

“It’s not everything our members deserve, but we did the best we could in these uncertain times and negotiated an agreement that will ensure Chrysler’s viability so that we can share in its economic success once it has regained financial stability. I’m extremely proud of the membership in ratifying this contract. It affords opportunity for us to build some of the best products and enhances opportunities for Chrysler workers in the future.

“In less than three years, Chrysler, through the dedication and hard work of its UAW-represented workers, has emerged from bankruptcy and repaid its federal loans six years early. Now through this collective bargaining agreement, we are adding jobs and helping to rebuild America.”

“This agreement adds 2,100 new UAW jobs which, together with jobs added at GM and Ford, mean more than 20,000 direct manufacturing jobs will be added to our economy,” said UAW President Bob King. “The Center for Automotive Research estimates the multiplier for other jobs created from an auto manufacturing job is 10, so these 20,000 direct auto manufacturing jobs, will create another 180,000 jobs in devastated communities across America. The UAW and the domestic auto companies are jump-starting the nation’s economic recovery.”

In a statement released by Chrysler, CEO Sergio Marchionne said, “No one involved in the bargaining process leading to this agreement could forget about our near death experience slightly more than two years ago and the second chance we were given by the American and Canadian taxpayers. The faith that was placed in us then has been fully repaid. This agreement is a credit to our workforce and the UAW leadership. It recognizes the significant contributions they have made toward our continuing recovery. It rewards them for the current and potential future success of the Company while ensuring Chrysler Group will be able to remain competitive.”

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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