Fiat Chrysler, UAW reach new tentative labor deal

UAW President Gary Jones (left) and FCA North America Chief Operating Officer Mark Stewart opened 2019 contract talks with a ceremonial hand shake during an event on July 16, 2019 at the company’s North American headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Fiat Chrysler

DETROIT – Fiat Chrysler and the United Auto Workers union have reached a tentative deal on a new labor contract amid tumultuous times for both sides.

Last week the UAW turned its attention to Fiat Chrysler – the last of the Detroit automakers it needs to seal a new contract with in 2019.

The four-year deal comes days after the resignations of two high-ranking union officials, including UAW President Gary Jones, who were connected to an ongoing federal corruption probe of the union. Jones, whose Michigan home was raided by federal agents in August, has not been charged by federal prosecutors.

It also comes nearly a month after Fiat Chrysler announced plans to merge with French automaker PSA Group.

A final agreement is likely at least a week or two away from being approved or rejected by rank-and-file union members. It still needs approval from local union leaders who are expected to gather in Detroit soon to vote on the deal. If the local UAW leaders approve the proposed contract, Fiat Chrysler’s UAW workers must then vote on the deal.

The pact is expected to share many of the same terms as the union’s recent contracts with Ford Motor and General Motors. Those deals included 3% raises or 4% lump-sum bonuses each year of the contract, retention of roughly 3% out-of-pocket health-care costs and a path for temporary workers to become full-time employees.

GM also agreed to $11,000 ratification bonuses for most of its full-time employees. Ford agreed to $9,000 ratification bonuses, however previous contracts have included lower amounts for Fiat Chrysler workers.

The federal probe into corruption of the UAW, which started with Fiat Chrysler, has led to charges against 13 people, including seven convictions of people affiliated with the union and three Fiat Chrysler executives.

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