US: is the UAW ready with a plan if the FCA tentative deal is rejected? image

Workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are biased about the tentative agreement between the automaker and the UAW union and the latter could have a “Plan B” if the rejection wins.

This could be the first time since 1976 that workers would reject an agreement – back then it was Ford’s case and the workers took 28 days off by delivering a strike. It’s highly unusual but not unprecedented. But since almost 40 years have passed since the last incident of sorts, if the tentative deal doesn’t go through with the UAW target automaker, workers, the labor leaders and auto executives will find themselves treading on new territory. There are naturally options to any situation and we can speculate on them a little.

First off, the UAW could abandon for the time being FCA and refocus on General Motors (more likely) or Ford (less likely) to ink a deal that would alleviate the worries of the workers and made the FCA agreement crumble. One of the main concerns is the elimination of the cap on the percentage of Tier 2 workers, meaning those above the threshold would not jump to the higher paid veteran status.

A second course of action would be to get FCA and CEO Sergio Marchionne back to the negotiations table to try and iron out the rejected agreement in a modified form – but frankly no one is putting their dollars on this scenario.

The third option is the most extreme – go home, call a strike. A worker action could lead to a bitter war with FCA where the situation is already delicate and it would also force the union to break the strike “piggybank”.