UAW announces tentative deal with Fiat-Chrysler

FCA headquarters
Fiat-Chrysler Automotive's headquarters | Greg Gjerdingen, Flickr

The United Auto Workers (UAW) has reached a tentative deal with Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the union announced Saturday.

The company confirmed the four-year agreement on Twitter, but declined to release details.

This is the last of the union’s negotiations with Big Three automakers. UAW members ratified deals with Ford and General Motors (GM). GM workers embarked on a six-week strike before approving a deal in late October.

Auto workers ratify contract with GM, end six-week strike

Earlier this year, FCA announced $4.5 billion in expansion projects in Michigan. According to the UAW, negotiators secured an additional $4.5 billion, which will add 7,900 jobs during the contract period. No other detail were immediately released.

“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.”

The deal come during a tumultuous time for both the UAW and FCA. In late October, Auburn Hills-based FCA announced a merger with the parent company of French automaker Peugeot. The deal would create the fourth-largest auto manufacturer in the world in terms of sales.

The UAW has been dealing with a major corruption scandal involving top officials. UAW President Gary Jones resigned this month.

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This month, GM sued FCA, alleging that FCA engaged in racketeering by paying millions of dollars in bribes to UAW leaders to secure better labor contracts for FCA than GM. Detroit-based GM accused former Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, who died in 2018, is accused by GM of signing off on more than $1.5 million in bribes to UAW officials. FCA denies the claims.

The UAW-FCA National Council will meet on Wednesday to decide whether to adopt the tentative agreement. If it does, the deal goes before FCA workers. The ratification process would begin Friday.

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Susan J. Demas is an 18-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.