New Tentative Deal Reached Between FCA, UAW – Workers Skeptical
On Eve of Strike Deadline, New Tentative Deal Struck
After UAW workers soundly rejected the first proposed deal between the union and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and strike notices were posted at FCA’s massive Kokomo, Indiana, transmission plant, comes word of a new tentative deal reached between the trade union and the automaker. UAW President Dennis Williams hailed the new deal as addressing many of the workers concerns, chief of which was the lack of a path for second-tier workers to move up to first-tier wages. Specific details on the new deal are not yet public and are subject to approval by UAW Locals representing FCA workers.
The two-tier wage system has been an ongoing point of contention, reportedly creating workplace tensions between more senior workers that earn the top first-tier wages of $28 an hour, whereas tier-two workers top out at a maximum of $25. Although many workers said they were willing to strike, it would mean a significant reduction in their income during the strike period. Striking workers only receive $40 a day, compared to between $128-$224 a day working in the plant, depending on seniority. Many UAW workers, especially tier-two employees, reportedly live paycheck-to-paycheck, making the prospect of a prolonged walkout unappealing. General Motors and Ford Motor Company are watching the negotiations between the UAW and FCA closely, as it will likely set the standard for upcoming labor negotiations with those companies.