Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles Canada announced it had reached a new tentative agreement with auto workers union Unifor but, because the deal still needs union member ratification, it did not provide details.
Unifor, however, was a bit more forthcoming, saying the accord “secures investment for Brampton and Etobicoke, and cements the economic pattern established with General Motors”.
“It took many days and challenging conversations to get here but we have a tentative agreement which includes investment commitments and matches the economic pattern established in the GM agreement,” said the union’s national president Jerry Dias, who led the negotiations.
“Entering into the 2016 negotiations the entire leadership at our auto locals unanimously endorsed investment commitments as our top priority. This objective was achieved with GM, and I am proud to report we were successful with FCA as well.”
This was the second round of talks with the Canadian ‘Detroit Three’ automakers to renew agreemnts which expired this year. The first with GM established an economic pattern for bargaining that included: investment commitments, 2% general wage increases in year one and four of the contract, a C$6,000 ratification bonus, $2,000 lump sums payments in year two, three and four, benefit plan improvements and an enhanced wage progression for newly recruited workers.
“The bargaining committees worked hard in what felt like a marathon of negotiations but I now have a sense of relief knowing we secured investment for Brampton and Etobicoke,” said Unifor FCA bargaining committee chair, Dino Chiodo. “After many years of receiving zeros, this pattern provides important financial gains for our members and their families.”
Union members will vote on the tentative agreement this Sunday, 16 October. If approved, Unifor will immediately resume negotiations with Ford.
FCA employs about 10,000 Unifor members in Brampton, Etobicoke and Windsor building the Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger (Brampton Assembly), the Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Pacifica (Windsor Assembly) and cast components (Etobicoke).
Like the UAW south of the border, Unifor, a combination of several unions including the former Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) organisation, does not represent solely auto workers – of 310,000 members, about 23,050 work for the Detroit Three.