Unifor Starts Fiat-Chrysler negotiations

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles went on the hot seat Monday as it sat down to negotiate a new contract with its Canadian unionized workforce.That may sound like a dire threat, but it seems to be the union’s traditional way of calling an automaker to the bargaining table when contracts expire. But the fate of an important FCA plant in Ontario may hang in the balance this time around. Here’s what is happening.

That may sound like a dire threat, but it seems to be the union’s traditional way of calling an automaker to the bargaining table when contracts expire. However, the fate of an important FCA plant in Ontario may hang in the balance this time around. Here’s what is happening.

Here’s what is happening.The automaker spent billions in 2015 retooling its Windsor assembly plant, paving the way for the launch of the Pacifica minivan earlier this year. Although company officials have promised to keep that platform alive for nearly a decade, Unifor has said nothing is certain.

The automaker spent billions in 2015 retooling its Windsor assembly plant, paving the way for the launch of the Pacifica minivan earlier this year. Although company officials have promised to keep that platform alive for nearly a decade, Unifor has said nothing is certain.Unifor represents about 9,750 workers at three FCA plants in Ontario:

Unifor represents about 9,750 workers at three FCA plants in Ontario:
3,300 at Brampton Assembly plant builds the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, and Dodge Challenger.
6,000 members at its Windsor, Ont. Windsor Assembly plant builds the Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Pacifica minivans.
450 at its Etobicoke, Ont. Etobicoke Casting plant makes die-cast aluminum parts, including pistons for engines.

Unifor president Jerry Dias hailed the contract as “historic” and the best deal the union has struck with one of the auto giants in the past decade.

The agreement includes a two percent wage increase this year and another two percent increase in September, 2019.

There is also a $6,000 initial signing bonus, plus lump sum bonuses of $2,000 in each of the next three years for most employees. Also, GM promised to invest $554 million in its Canadian operations.

General Motors of Canada president Steve Carlisle said the deal will position the automaker’s Canadian operations at the “forefront of an industry that is experiencing dramatic transformation and change.”

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