Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Canada’s Unifor members have voted to ratify their labour agreement. The four-year deal covers 9,450 employees, and about 70 percent of the workers voted in favour of it.
The new deal comes with wage increases for workers both new and old, and it comes with investments in two of FCA’s three plants in Canada. New investment and commitment to new product were the main goals for Unifor in this round of bargaining, and they have achieved that goal.
There is now a commitment to build the Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid at the Windsor, Ontario plant. As part of the deal, that plant will also be first in line for new products if it achieves a gold rating under FCA’s World Class Manufacturing program.
FCA’s Brampton plant, which builds Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Challenger models, will receive a $325 million investment to overhaul the aging paint shop. No new product has been confirmed but is expected by 2020. The new product is contingent on some government investment, but according to Dino Chiodo, head of Unifor’s master bargaining committee for FCA,”I think we will see that happen relatively quickly.” The renovations on the paint shop will begin next summer. There will also be $6.5 million in upgrades to FCA’s Etobicoke casting plant which makes aluminium stampings like cross members.
Other parts of the deal are similar to General Motors’ agreement, which means raises for workers, and a new defined benefit pension plan for new hires. Next up for negotiations is Ford, where Unifor’s top priority will be looking for investment in two Windsor, Ontario, engine plants.
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