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New union contract ratified

by Bill Cawthon on

This morning, the United Auto Workers union announced that its members had ratified a new four-year contract with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

The agreement passed with a 77% majority. Within the full membership, 77% of production workers, 72% of skilled trades employees, and 87% of salaried union members voted to ratify.


“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,” said union president Dennis Williams.

FCA’s labor costs will rise, but they have been artificially low because of the wage freeze on Tier 1 workers and the waiver of the cap on Tier 2 workers.

Even with the increase, labor costs are likely to remain well below those of its Detroit competitors. According to the Center for Automotive Research, FCA’s current costs run about 3.4% of revenues, compared to 4.9% at GM and 6.7% at Ford.

The UAW will next turn its attention to either Ford or GM, where expectations are higher.

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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