Published: Sun, October 25, 2015
Economy | By Melissa Porter

GM UAW announces contract negotiations

GM UAW announces contract negotiations

The 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 union posted the results of a vote on its website.

The new contract provides a clearer path to top pay for so-called "second-tier" workers in a two-tier wage system established in 2007, which pays newer workers less than those hired before 2007.

Sources revealed that workers at Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana stated that the new contract, which was proposed earlier this year, met their expectations and was better than previous pact that were offered by the carmaker. Cathy Clegg, GM vice president of manufacturing and labor relations, will lead the management team, while Cindy Estrada, vice president of the UAW's GM department, will be on the union's side with UAW President Dennis Williams.

Fiat Chrysler said the new contract "represents an investment in our US workforce and recognizes its contributions to the company's growth over the past six years". They'll also get a variety of bonuses and profit sharing payments.

Fiat Chrysler said it was pleased the deal won approval. The latest proposal omits the idea of a health-care trust to lower medical costs.

Ford and GM aren't keen on changing the current formula, which awards workers $1 for every $1 million in profit earned, believing it is simpler and easier for workers to understand, these people say.

GM is already seeking goodwill, saying on Thursday it will add 1,200 jobs at a vehicle factory in Detroit before saying on Friday that it's laying off about 500 hourly employees at its small-car plant north of the city.

Fiat Chrysler stock has been consolidating for more than five months, forming a 30% deep trough during that period, and it's set up a 17.18-buy point.

Dino Chiodo, president of Unifor Local 444, said the new UAW-FCA contract validates the Canadian union's steadfast refusal to implement a similar two-tier wage structure on this side of the border.

The union plans to use the Fiat-Chrysler deal as a pattern in talks with two other larger USA automakers, General Motors and Ford.

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