According to the UAW union, rank and file members overwhelmingly ratified a newly renegotiated four-year contract with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the third largest US automaker.
This is the first contract ratified since the union initiated formal negotiations with the Detroit Three back in July and comes after a resounding defeat of the first version, which was voted down by 65 percent of the rank and file members. Now the renegotiated new version received an even higher degree of approval – 77 percent voted in its favor – and comes six weeks after the old contract was due to expire. Additionally, UAW President Dennis Williams, which is sending his team now to discuss the respective contracts with GM and Ford, has said richer deals are expected from both remaining Detroit automakers, which are bigger and yield larger profits.
Returning to FCA, the members appreciated the second version was better in every respect than the first and thus 77 percent of production workers, 72 percent of skilled traders and 87 percent of salaried workers voted yes. “The resolve of our membership and the dedication of our negotiating team has produced an agreement that affords UAW members a strong wage package and job security while still allowing the company to competitively produce high quality vehicles for our customers,” commented Williams in a statement Thursday as the union announced the ratification of the proposed agreement. This is also the first new contract between the UAW and the FCA since Chrysler went through bankruptcy reorganization in 2009 and back in 2011 the union gave up the right to strike. Many observers said after the first failed round of negotiations a strike was very possible, but the negotiators were able to swiftly secure a better deal as the company is on positive expansion around the world.