Around 40, 000 rank and file UAW members working for the US unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have been called this week to vote on whether to ratify a second tentative contract agreement reached earlier this month.
The fierce debate has triggered the UAW’s decision to allow more time for the tentative deal to be explained and also to condense the voting period to just two days. The union has also resorted to new ways of explaining the contract and hopes the different voting scenario would improve the chances of a positive outcome. Additionally, worker opposition to the second version of the contract seems more restrained compared to the agreement inked in September and soundly rejected by 65 percent of voters. As of now, no bets have been made on either side as certain employees remain unhappy and the ratification is not certain yet.
All workers at FCA will vote on Tuesday and Wednesday, with locals having union halls holding the voting process between 6 a.m and 6 p.m. both days. The UAW in Detroit is then expected to have the results from the 37 locals processed around Thursday, so Friday at the latest the outcome will become public.
The new contract includes an immediate wage increase for the entry-level second tier workers and a $3,000 signing bonus. Veterans hired before 2007 would have a higher bonus of $4,000 and the first wake spike in a decade. Everyone will also have profit sharing checks calculated under a new formula based off the North American profit and total worked hours, uncapped.
There’s also a detailed overview of the automaker’s $5.3-billion product investment plan over the next four years in the US and has decided to axe a UAW proposal for a health care cooperative.