October 6, 2015
By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel
United Auto Workers members have rejected a proposed contract with Fiat Chrysler that would have preserved two-tier wages for workers hired after 2007. Official totals weren't released in voting that ended Sept. 30, but workers at the large plants in Belvidere, Ill., Toledo, Ohio, and Sterling Heights, Mich. voted no by heavy margins.
The proposed deal would have given the lower-tier workers a raise, from $19.28 an hour after three years to $25.35, but left them short of the $30 experienced works would have gotten. It also would not have capped the number of second-tier workers that the company can employ. About 45% of Fiat Chrysler’s 40,000 union workers are paid the lower rate, while General Motors and Ford are limited to 20-25%. “I’d like everybody be made whole in a reasonable amount of time, but the second tier can’t even get to where my wages are,” Brett Ward, a veteran worker in Sterling Heights told the New York Times. “I don’t find that acceptable.” Read more