US: reasons for the UAW member backlash against FCA agreement image

Troubling signs are emerging as UAW members more often vote against the tentative Fiat Chrysler contract deal even as the agreement is not very bad at all.

But the members have started campaigning against the FCA deal because they see broken promises and crumbled trust – many outsiders will see the UAW ratification process of the new four-year contract as highly confusing. The contract seems to hold the premise for a really good arrangement but numerous union members have acted against it: the UAW negotiated with FCA to have every union member’s wages hiked and also a $3,000 signing bonus. All of the Tier 2 entry-level employees would get a new, raised salary and workers that have been with the company since before 2007 would see their wages hiked for the first time in at least a decade. And there’s also a new health management system that would oversee all these benefits and deliver lower cost from providers so workers won’t have to pay more when the new US legislation comes into effect.

But in early voting last week major UAW units didn’t back the agreement. Their main discontent could be summed up in four large chapters. First off the 25 percent cap on entry-level workers (which automatically brings some of them to the Tier One once the threshold is achieved) has been eliminated. There’s much anxiety about FCA’s ability to deliver promised investments to US factories and facilities. Even the health care plan is creating confusion, bringing many more questions than answers. Anxiety about broken pledges – many workers believe past promises have been broken.