Jobs, Raises, Bonuses Part of UAW Contract With FCA

DETROIT (Detroit Free Press/TNS) -

The UAW union’s national council has approved a proposed tentative agreement with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and it will be up to workers now to approve a deal that sets a clear path to full wages for entry-level workers while promising not to outsource work over the four-year pact.

It also provides more detail, plant by plant, on jobs and future product changes. The net result? About 100 additional jobs.

“We returned to the bargaining table with Fiat Chrysler with a clear mandate for us to negotiate a contract that gives all employees a clear and defined path to a fair pay and decent standard of living,” UAW President Dennis Williams said during a press conference on Friday. “I can say now that we now have secured a stronger contract.”

Under the new agreement, entry-level workers will see their hourly pay increase from $15.78 to $19.28 per hour to $29 over a period of eight years. The contract workers rejected a week ago would have only taken workers up to a top wage of $25.35 per hour, a wage that many workers viewed as falling short of promises made by the union and the company in 2011.

If ratified, the new agreement also provides entry-level workers with a $3,000 signing bonus and long-time workers with a $4,000 signing bonus. It also provides long-time workers with 3 percent pay increases in the first and third years of the contract and 4 percent lump-sum payments in the second and fourth year of the contract.

The two sides also have agreed to meet within 60 days to revisit complaints about alternate work schedules that are hard on workers’ health.

“I think this will pass,” said Art Schwartz, a retired director of General Motors labor relations.

Asked how the union could enforce wage provisions in years beyond this contract, Schwartz said, “Well, the union has this in writing now.”

For the most part, workers were embracing the new contract on Friday.

“I think there’s a good shot at passing this,” said Ken Mefford, who works at the Detroit-area truck plant that makes the Ram pickup. “There is enough money … there is money for the older workers and a path for raises for the others; health care didn’t go up, there is an increase in pensions and dental and vision coverage.”

The UAW posted a summary of key components of the new agreement on its website Friday.

They UAW said the new agreement provides:

— All current entry-level workers will be paid traditional wages within eight years. Entry-level workers with four years of service will be paid traditional base wages by the end of this contract — that’s more than $10 per hour in wage increases.

— Entry-level workers with two years of service will receive more than $8 per hour in base wage increases by the end of the contract.

— First general wage increases in nine years for long-term employees. With two 3 percent wage increases and two 4 percent lump-sum bonuses, traditional workers will be taking home an additional $20,000 over the next four years.

— Health care is unchanged with no premiums.

— Profit-sharing payout is now based on hours worked, similar to how it is tabulated at Ford. Under the new formula, the pool will be funded based on the new formula of $800 for every 1 percent in North American profit margin.

— Upon signing new UAW contract, long-time workers get $4,000 bonus; entry-level get $3,000 payment from Fiat Chrysler.

— 401(k) contribution rate goes up to 6.4 percent for entry-level workers.

— $1.7 billion in pension funding, with the company expected to contribute $1.7 billion in cash.

— $5.3 billion to be invested in U.S. plants and a moratorium on outsourcing as the company provides a commitment to fully utilize and invest in its plants and provide job security and growth.

— Increased Dental and Vision Benefits for entry-level workers who are now eligible for annual routine oral exams and cleanings after one year, and vision exams every 24 months after attaining seniority.

Key job gains and losses under the UAW Fiat Chrysler tentative agreement

Plants that gain jobs

— 585 jobs added at Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Ill., in 2016

— 1,751 at Sterling Heights Assembly in Sterling Heights, Mich., 2018

— 220 at Indiana Transmission in Kokomo, Ind.

— 403 at Tipton Transmission Plant in Tipton, Ind.

Plants that lose jobs

— 2,406 at Warren Truck Assembly in suburban Detroit in 2017

— 450 at Indiana Transmission

All other plants retain their current job levels.