It's amazing how quickly one's view of things can shift when facing an uncertain future. Such is the case for members of the Canadian Auto Workers union at the Chrysler Group's Brampton, Ontario plant. The union there has "overwhelmingly" voted to accept pay cuts and the outsourcing of some janitorial jobs not one month after rejecting the concessions put forward by Chrysler. The pay cuts in question are actually "premium pay" that was negotiated by the unions during better times. It amounts to an extra 40 minutes of pay per day for time spent not working, and annually costs Chrysler about $5,000 per hourly employee. That fact that such a perk was ever negotiated in the first place doesn't say much about Chrysler's bargaining skills.
The union at the Brampton plant is hoping these concessions will not only keep its doors open but also spur Chrysler to invest in the plant, expanding it to produce up to five models instead of its current capacity of three. Those current models include variants of the LX platform – the Chrysler 300, Dodge Magnum and Charger. We're already pretty certain the Brampton plant will get the $700 million investment it's hoping for, since Chrysler has already announced it will be the site for production of the new Dodge Challenger.