On Wednesday, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union stated that the rank-and-file members of its union working at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV have voted. The vote ended in favour of the new four-year labour contract with the automaker. With this, the Italian-American automobile firm can avoid strikes as it takes further steps to merge with the French Groupe PSA.
Votes Conclude 71% In Favour
PSA and Fiat Chrysler (FCA) announced a planned $50 billion merger, with the maker of Peugeot and Citroen planning to become the world’s fourth-largest automaker with FCA’s help.
The 47 200 rank-and-file members of UAW that work for FCA officially voted 71% in favour of the new contract. With this, the deal follows shortly after contracts the UAW already concluded with FCA’s largest rivals: Ford Motor Co and General Motors Co.
Mandatory Good Words
Cindy Estrade, vice president of UAW and director of its FCA department, gave a public statement regarding the vote. She explained that the end of the four-year agreement would give every “full-time production employee” currently employed by FCA the top rate. Furthermore, she added that temporary workers under FCA’s employ would be given a path to gain full employment.
Mark Stewarts, CEO of FCA’s North American branch, gave a public statement as well. He expressed the company’s pleasure to have reached a newfound agreement. He explained that the agreement allows FCA to continue its “record of adding good-paying UAW-represented jobs.”
A Brief History
The agreement to the contract wasn’t a certainty. The union members rejected the first version given by the FCA back in 2015. To add to this, there’s a federal corruption probe happening at the union regarding suspicions of embezzlement, drawing much attention.
The corruption probe in question led to GM filing a charge of racketeering against FCA. GM alleged that its rival automaker took the liberty of bribing union officials over the course of many years. This was done in order to corrupt the bargaining process and gain unlawful advantages. GM claims that this cost the company billions of dollars.
FCA completely brushed off the lawsuit, however. The automaker described the charges as groundless and went back to business as usual.
The contract ratified by GM’s UAW workers was made in October. This was after a 40-day strike within the US that completely shut down GM’s operations within North America, costing the company around $3 billion.
The UAW stated that FCA’s contract included a commitment from the automaker to invest $9 billion into the company, with the goals of creating around 7 900 jobs through the course of the contract.