The United Auto Workers union on Thursday announced the ratification of a second tentative agreement with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and has also moved to announce the next target for negotiations would be General Motors.
With the FCA contract used as a template, the UAW is now at the bargaining table with GM, the largest US automaker and the third biggest in the world, aiming for a four-year contract similar – but richer – then the one that was just ratified by rank and file members working for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The UAW, moving to the larger and more powerful GM, has made it clear it expects more for the workers at both GM and Ford, as both bring higher profits. The auto industry is also on a massive growth trend today meaning the companies will not risk a strike that could jeopardize their sales by alienating customers that won’t find the model they desire in the showrooms. GM has been mitigating any possible fallout during recent months with plant expansion announcements as well as profit sharing checks above the threshold negotiated under the current contract.
“The UAW announced today that it will pursue a contract for UAW-GM members in the next round of Big Three bargaining as negotiations continue at Ford,” commented the UAW hours after announcing the positive result of the ratification process for FCA voters. The bargaining will have senior female leadership at the table – Cathy Clegg, GM vice president of manufacturing and labor relations and Cindy Estrada, vice president of the UAW’s GM department. The following negotiations could be wrapped faster than with FCA because the bargaining teams have not been idle over the past weeks and have also had the time to study the FCA – UAW template.