Detroit, Michigan – Members of the United Auto Workers Union (UAW) have voted to accept a contract with Chrysler Group, marking the union’s third agreement with the domestic automakers.
The agreement will add 2,100 new jobs by the time the contract expires in 2015, said UAW president Bob King, who added that the three contracts will create more than 20,000 new jobs in communities across the U.S. directly, and 180,000 jobs with suppliers and other businesses supported by auto manufacturing.
The Chrysler agreement also includes US$4.5 billion in investments to produce new models and upgraded vehicles and components by 2015. The funds will be invested directly into retooling and upgrading plants.
The UAW represents 26,000 employees at Chrysler, including 3,000 salaried employees at 48 Chrysler facilities in the U.S.
Jobs, investments and product guarantees in the agreement include new compact vehicles to be built in Belvidere, Illinois and Sterling Heights, Michigan; new transmissions in Kokomo, Indiana; next-generation steering columns and torque converters in Toledo, Ohio; and reopening of a portion of the Trenton North Engine Plant in Michigan to produce additional volumes of 3.8-litre V6 engines.
“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 investments in plants and job creation in communities.”
The agreement also gives workers the Tuition Assistance Program they forfeited during the economic downturn, along with a $3,500 ratification bonus and $1,000 in annual bonuses for performance and quality, in addition to a more transparent profit-sharing program and “upside bonuses” that will begin paying at the point that Chrysler achieves financial stability. Wages for new hires will increase to $19.28 over the term of the agreement, and new workers will be eligible for several benefits.