The United Auto Workers and Chrysler Group have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract that will restore some of the benefits Chrysler workers gave up during the economic downturn, the UAW said.
“It’s a new day at Chrysler,” said UAW president Bob King. “In less than 3 years, Chrysler, through the dedication and hard work of its UAW-represented workers, has emerged from bankruptcy, repaid its federal loans six years early, and is now helping drive the U.S. economy. Through this collective bargaining agreement, we are adding jobs and helping to rebuild America. This proposed contract builds on the momentum created from the UAW General Motors and Ford Motor Co. agreements and will bring 2,100 new jobs to America.”
According to the UAW, the agreement includes $4.5 billion in new and upgraded vehicles and components by 2015.
A complete list of plant investments can be found on the UAW's website.
“UAW members sacrificed when the company was struggling, and this agreement ensures that our members will now share in Chrysler’s prosperity,” said UAW vice president general Holiefield. “Together with the loans from the U.S. government - and make no mistake, the loans, supported by President Obama, provided the foundation for the company’s turnaround - make it possible now to give workers what they deserve and to further repay American taxpayers by investment in plants and job creation in communities.”
Among the benefits returned to union members, the UAW said, is the tuition assistance program. There is also a $3,500 ratification bonus and $1,000 in annual bonuses for performance and quality as well as a more transparent profit sharing program and “upside bonus” that will begin paying at the point Chrysler achieves financial stability, the union said.
“This additional money in the paychecks of UAW members is well-earned, but it doesn’t just benefit them; they will spend that money in their communities, providing a well-needed boost to local economies across the country,” said Holiefield.
New hires will see wages increase to $19.28/hr. over the life of the agreement.
“For all those people who attack unions and want to eliminate collective bargaining, these contracts prove that collective bargaining works. It works for the companies, it works for the employees and it works for America. The UAW agreements with Ford, GM and now Chrysler provide decent wages, benefits and rights on the job for workers while ensuring quality products and healthy profits for the company,” said King.
The contract is still subject to UAW local ratification.