DETROIT — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has agreed to increase profit-sharing payouts by 13 percent and give less experienced hourly workers the same health care coverage as veteran employees, according to a summary of its proposed UAW labor contract viewed by Automotive News.
The four-year deal includes signing bonuses of $9,000 for full-time employees and $3,500 for temporary workers; the amounts are identical to those in the union's newly ratified contract with Ford Motor Co. It also lets full-time workers earn top pay after four years instead of eight, matching the contracts with Ford and General Motors.
UAW leaders on Wednesday approved sending the tentative agreement to the rank-and-file for ratification. Informational meetings and votes are set to begin Friday. Voting is expected to take about a week.
“UAW FCA members continue to grow in numbers due to the quality and innovative products they produce,” acting UAW President Rory Gamble said in a statement. “This contract continues a strong pattern that allows for continued growth -- including a new Detroit plant -- while rewarding members for their role in the companies’ success."
FCA and the UAW agreed to dissolve their jointly run National Training Center, which has been at the center of an ongoing federal corruption probe.
The agreement calls for FCA to create 7,900 jobs with $9 billion in U.S. manufacturing investments through 2023. The figures include 6,500 jobs already announced under a $4.5 billion plan to open a second assembly plant in Detroit and expand other plants in the area.
The UAW valued the deal at an extra $29,500 over four years for an average production worker, matching the economic gains in the Ford contract. Like the GM and Ford deals, FCA workers will get 4 percent bonuses this year and in 2021 and 3 percent wage increases in 2020 and 2022.
The planned investments include $7.8 billion for assembly plants, $615 million for powertrain plants and $495 million for stamping plants. Among the new commitments are $450 million for the Indiana Transmission Plant II to create up to 1,040 jobs and $160 million for Toledo North Assembly to create up to 100 jobs making plug-in hybrid Jeep Wranglers.
FCA is the last of the Detroit 3 to finalize a new labor agreement.
Under the deal reached Saturday, so-called in-progression employees, who account for 64 percent of FCA's hourly work force, no longer would have different health care, dental and vision coverage from more senior colleagues. Temps would get prescription drug coverage for the first time.
Profit-sharing payouts would increase to $900 per 1 percent of FCA's North American profit margin, up from $800 previously.
FCA would offer a $60,000 retirement package to eligible hourly workers at the Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois, the Marysville Axle and Mount Elliott plants in Michigan and the Milwaukee parts distribution center.
In a letter to workers, union leaders said FCA has added more than 6,500 workers and promoted over 6,750 temporary employees to permanent status in the last four years.
"The contract presented to you today creates a template for continuing growth and prosperity for UAW FCA members and FCA," Gamble and Cindy Estrada, the UAW's chief negotiator with FCA, said in the letter.