Union leaders of Fiat SpA are going to engage in negotiations with top officials at the United Auto Workers next week in a move aimed to leverage the standoff over the Italian carmaker’s effort to buy the rest of Chrysler Group LLC.
A Fim Cisl delegation is set to discuss with UAW leaders, including President Bob King, in Detroit, in a scheduled trip to meet with their US counterparts as Sergio Marchionne, CEO of both Fiat and Chrysler, is currently forced by the UAW retiree health-care trust to make due with an initial public offering listing of the US automaker.
“We are concerned that a Chrysler initial public offering would harm a combination of the two carmakers,” said Ferdinando Uliano, Fim Cisl national secretary in charge of Fiat relations. “We’ll tell the UAW that only a merger of Fiat and Chrysler would grant a positive future for both companies’ workers.”
The union fund has asked at least $1 billion more than what Fiat is decided to pay. The Italian company also stressed the fact that moving along with the IPO could endanger the the manufacturers’ business relationships. Fiat wants the rest of Chrysler to get full access to the U.S. carmaker’s $12 billion in cash – which the Italians want to use for a turnaround plan in Europe, where the company is both losing money and market share.