Not So Fast My Friend – UAW Membership Rejects Tentative Agreement
During their press conference on September 15, 2015, UAW President Dennis Williams and Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne appeared satisfied with the tentative agreement reached after months of bargaining. The two friends smiled while congratulating each other on a job well done. According to Williams, the tentative agreement achieved the three goals he identified at the beginning of the process. However, Williams failed to provide specific details during the press conference regarding the achievement of those goals.
As the UAW leadership met with its locals to explain the specifics, the voices against the tentative agreement began to grow. Those voices turned into action as local after local began rejecting the tentative agreement. The major criticisms included the continuation of a two tier wage structure, lack of a cap on the number of tier 2 workers and concerns over movement of production to other plants or out of the country.
With the failure to ratify the tentative agreement between the UAW and Fiat Chrysler, both sides must figure out a way forward which could include going back to the bargaining table, calling for a strike, or moving on to negotiations with Ford and GM in the hopes that agreements with these automakers will provide more acceptable terms to the UAW members at Fiat Chrysler. Williams may now be rethinking his decision to name Fiat Chrysler as the strike target.