UAW members today overwhelmingly approved a new four-year collective bargaining agreement with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, in the first of three union negotiations with the Detroit 3 automakers.
The approval comes three weeks after UAW members rejected by more than 2 to 1 the initial contract that UAW leaders negotiated with FCA—the first time the membership has rejected a national agreement since 1982.
Seventy-seven percent of FCA union members approved the contract, which includes higher raises and signing bonuses than the initial contract and a direct path for newer Tier 2 workers, hired after the 2007 negotiations, to move up to the higher-paying Tier 1.
Here is the voting breakdown:
- Production workers – 77%
- Skilled Trades – 72%
- Salaried Bargaining Unit – 87%
The bargaining process, said UAW President Dennis Williams in a statement, “is a testament to the UAW’s democratic values and commitment to our members.” He hailed “the resolve of our membership and the dedication of our negotiating team” to hammer out “a strong wage package and job security while still allowing the company to competitively produce high quality vehicles for our customers.”
FCA said in a statement that the 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 new contract covers 40,000 workers at FCA US, Fiat Chrysler's North American unit, and will be used as the basis for the UAW's new contracts with General Motors and Ford Motor Co.
Next up in UAW negotiations are Ford and General Motors, both of which are bigger and more profitable than FCA. The union has yet to decide which company it will negotiate with next.
Fiat Chrysler shares on the New York Stock Exchange were down just 0.13% at $15.18 after the announcement.