US: UAW – FCA contract approval could be a troubled process image

With voting on the proposed four-year contract between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the UAW union represented workers lasting through the middle of next week, troubling signs are already appearing.

The worrisome signs have appeared late Thursday as the proposed agreement between the UAW and FCA seems to be surrounded by trouble – big UAW locals in Sterling Heights, Center Line and Kokomo, Indiana have already voted against ratifying the process. Last week the UAW and FCA nailed a tentative contract deal but the terms need to be ratified by the majority of the around 40,000 UAW members, which has 37 UAW locals across the nation for the third largest US automaker. A negative vote could have a massive impact on the UAW’s process of negotiation with the Detroit Three: GM, Ford and FCA.

According to a report from a source that had knowledge of the voting results, at UAW Local 1166, which caters for workers at Kokomo Casting, 59% of the production force voted against the contract while the skilled trades workers were even at 50/50. Another report put UAW Local 1264, which guides around 2,000 hourly workers at Sterling Stamping, on the same negative barricade, with 57% of production workers and 61% of skilled trades workers rejecting the current form of the contract. A third report also puts members of UAW Local 1248, which advises workers at the automaker’s Mopar parts and distribution center in Center Line, against the proposed contract. Meanwhile, UAW Local 1302 president George Maus announced the salaried workers at six facilities in Kokomo had agreed to the new terms. Most of the UAW’s biggest locals that represent workers at factories in Detroit, Illinois, Toledo, Sterling Heights and transmission plants in Kokomo have not yet cast their vote.