Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, the parent company of FCA US, the third largest US automaker, announced recently that its North American labor chief Al Iacobelli has opted for retirement not more than two months ahead of the company’s negotiations with the United Auto Workers union.
Iacobelli, 55, is going to leave the position for Glenn Shagena, 52, FCA’s former head of human resources in Mexico, starting Tuesday – a surprise movement just ahead of the crucial worker contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers union, which represents around 35,700 Fiat Chrysler employees in the United States. FCA US is scheduled to enter, together (separately though) with its larger rivals Ford and General Motors, what are forecasted to be hard bargain negotiations next month with the UAW union, as the workers have been complaining about the current two-tiered pay and benefit strategy for UAW-represented employees. Back in 2007, the UAW conceded to a lower pay and benefit wage system for new auto workers in a bid to protect jobs and experienced workers as the automakers started bleeding money. After the last round of talks, back in 2011, the Detroit three opted to hire a massive number of new workers on the lower tier.
UAW President Dennis Williams has claimed the union wants to “bridge the gap” between the two groups, as entry-level workers receive between $15.78 and $19.28 per hour, while veteran employees get from $28 an hour and also have more benefits. FCA’s UAW represented workers have a proportion of around 45 percent in the entry-level tier.