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FCA, UAW averted strike on the deadline day

by Bill Cawthon on

FCA US and the United Auto Workers have reached a second agreement on a new contract, as the clock was ticking down the final minutes to a midnight strike deadline.

Strike-Cop-Detroit

UAW President Dennis Willaims wrote:

We heard from our members, and went back to FCA to strengthen their contract. We’ve reached a proposed Tentative Agreement that I believe addresses our members’ principal concerns about their jobs and their futures. We have made real gains…

Details of the new “Proposed Tentative Agreement” will not be released until it is approved by the UAW’s National Chrysler Council at a meeting scheduled for Friday morning at 11 am. The deal will graduate to a “Tentative Agreement” if the council approves it.

The pact will then go to UAW workers for approval. Voting will likely begin, and might be completed, by the end of next week.

The company wrote, “FCA US confirms that it has reached a new tentative agreement with the UAW. Because the agreement is subject to UAW member ratification, the Company cannot discuss the specifics of the agreement pending a vote by UAW members.”

The previous proposal went down in flames last week. About 65% of the union’s members voted against it. Key sticking points were the status of the 25% cap on the number of lower-paid Tier 2 workers; the transition path from Tier 2 to Tier 1; a nebulous health care proposal and a lack of new product commitment for U.S. plants.

When FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne was fighting for new contracts with Italian unions, he not only gave raises to the members, but also  moved the popular mass-market Fiat Panda from the highly praised Tichy assembly plant in Poland to a former Alfa Romeo plant in Italy, which had been idled since 2011. Typical hourly labor costs in Italy are about three times as high as those in Poland.

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 just-auto.com, 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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