FCA, UAW, agree tentative deal for worker vote

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union at the weekend announced a tentative agreement for a four-year labour contract, a boost for the automaker as it works to merge with PSA Group.

"Our UAW bargaining committee worked diligently, over many months, during the General Motors strike and Ford negotiations to maintain productive negotiations with FCA," said UAW vice president Cindy Estrada, director of the UAW-FCA department.

"The pattern bargaining strategy has been a very effective approach for the UAW and its members to negotiate economic gains around salary, benefits and job security. In addition to the US$4.5bn in major investments previously announced, negotiators secured an additional $4.5bn for a total of $9bn of investments adding 7,900 jobs during the contract period.

"Out of respect for our members, we will refrain from commenting any further or releasing full details of the agreement until the UAW-FCA Council leaders meet and review the details," added Estrada.

The UAW-FCA National Council will meet on 4 December, 2019 to go over details of the proposed tentative agreement. If adopted, it will go to all FCA hourly and salary members for a ratification vote that will begin on 6 December.

Reuters notified ratification was not a sure thing. Rank-and-file UAW members at FCA in 2015 rejected the first version of a contract. In addition, a lawsuit related to a federal corruption probe could also raise doubts among union members about the terms agreed.

The federal corruption led GM to file a racketeering lawsuit against FCA, alleging that its rival bribed union officials over many years to corrupt the bargaining process and gain advantages, costing GM billions of dollars. FCA has brushed off the lawsuit as groundless.

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