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Marchionne back in USA for union

by Bill Cawthon on

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne cancelled his appearance at the International Auto Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany, to head back to the Motor City.

According to the IAA media office, Mr. Marchionne was scheduled to meet the international motoring press this morning to talk about developments and plans at the Alfa Romeo pavilion.


Since the UAW has picked FCA US as its target, Mr. Marchionne is fortunate to have a long and cordial relationship with union president Dennis Williams.

Both sides have a big stake in the outcome. FCA has the lowest hourly labor costs of the Detroit automakers, but its hourly workers have lower total compensation than their counterparts at Ford and GM due to more modest bonuses and significantly smaller profit-sharing checks.

The last contract expired at midnight last night, but the UAW noted that they have extended the existing collective bargaining agreement on an hour-by-hour basis as 2015 bargaining continues.” A similar message was issued by FCA this morning.

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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