Around 40,000 union workers employed by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have a new proposed contract to vote for or against just about a week after soundly rejecting a previous proposal. Like the contract that was rejected, this new proposal was negotiated between union leadership and management at FCA. If workers vote this time to accept the contract, negotiations are likely to begin in earnest with the other two big American automakers, Ford and General Motors.

The biggest sticking points that kept the previous contract proposal from being ratified revolved around so-called second-tier UAW workers. Under the rejected contract, there wasn't a clear path in place that would bring these newer hires into wage parity with first-tier workers. The newly proposed contract, however, would have second-tier employees earning around $29 per hour – the same as first-tier workers – after eight years of employment. A slightly revised profit-sharing plan is also included, as is a larger signing bonus for first-tier workers.

Gone from the new contract proposal is a health-care cooperative that would combine workers from all three Detroit-based automakers into one pool. While this action had the potential to lower health-care costs for UAW members, it wasn't universally understood by rank-and-file workers, said UAW President Dennis Williams. "I was a little naive," he said. "I really thought everyone understood it. It is my fault. I should have educated people more on it. And so we did take it out of the agreement."

If ratified, this new contract will go into effect immediately and will cover a four-year period. Over that course of time, the UAW expects FCA to increase its employment figures by a little more than 100 workers, according to reports. Additional details on the contract can be seen on the UAW's website here.


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