The UAW has ratified a new four-year national agreement with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, with the automaker agreeing to invest billions of dollars in its U.S. manufacturing operations and add thousands of union jobs in coming years.
The new agreement will see FCA double its previously announced $4.5 billion investment in its U.S. manufacturing sites, with the company committing to pour a total of $9 billion into its American facilities. This money will go toward a brand new assembly plant in Detroit, the company says, and will also support production of the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and future electric Jeep vehicles. FCA plans to add 6,500 union jobs in coming years, as well, 5,000 of which will be based in Detroit.
“We wouldn’t be the company we are today without the contributions of our UAW-represented workforce, and this contract recognizes and rewards their dedication in helping us achieve that success,” said FCA Chief Operating Officer, Mark Stewart. “Working with the UAW, we are pleased to have reached a new agreement that allows us to continue our record of adding good-paying UAW-represented jobs, building strong families, investing in our communities and offering exceptional vehicles to our customers.”
Full-time UAW employees of FCA will also receive a $9,000 ratification bonus under the agreement, along with three percent annual raises and four percent lump sum payments on alternative years of the contract. Cindy Estrada, the UAW’s FCA department director, also said that “every full-time production employee currently at FCA will be at top rate by the end of this four-year agreement,” and that “all temporary workers now have a defined pathway to full time and top pay as well.”
With the FCA deal having been ratified, the UAW now has a new four-year agreement with all of the Detroit Big Three. The contract negotiations began with General Motors, which resulted in a 40-day strike against the company. The GM deal was then used as the framework for the union’s subsequent deals with Ford and FCA.
GM sued FCA last month accusing the rival automaker of bribing top UAW officials in previous contract negotiations in order to “obtain benefits, concessions, and advantages in the negotiation, implementation, and administration of labor agreements over time.” FCA has denied the allegations, calling them baseless, and plans to fight GM in court over the matter.