The United Auto Workers and Chrysler have finally reached a tentative contract, which includes $4.5 billion in assembly plant upgrades and the addition of 2,100 jobs. The deal is pending a vote from about 26,000 hourly workers within the Chrysler Group.
Starting with employees, the deal includes a $1,750 signing bonus that doubles if Chrysler meets financial targets. UAW employees will also get two $500 annual bonuses – one dubbed an inflation protection bonus, while the other is a quality bonus. Entry-level wage has been increased from $14 an hour to $15.82, which is about half of what a long-time worker makes. The UAW also negotiated an enhanced profit sharing plan that places 10 percent of payouts toward a retiree health care plan.
"Chrysler has turned the corner and with this agreement will continue to move forward," said General Holiefield, head of the UAW's Chrysler department. "It's a new day at Chrysler." The deal also includes a number of improvements to Chrysler assembly plants totaling more than $4.5 billion. A number of new products from both Chrysler and Fiat groups will result from the improvements. Here are key products and plant improvements uncovered by Automotive News:
- Alfa Romeo compact utility vehicle based on the next-generation Jeep Liberty, which is built at the Toledo, Ohio plant.
- Alfa Giulia sedan based on 2013 Chrysler 200 replacement… should arrive in 2014.
- Maserati Kubang SUV, which should debut in 2014 and will be based off the Jeep Grand Cherokee built at Chrysler’s Jefferson North plant in Detroit.
- $850 million investment for the Sterling Heights, Michigan plant, which builds the Dodge Avenger, Chrysler 200, and an upcoming compact car TBA; 2,200 jobs will be saved.
- $1.3 billion for the Kokomo, Indiana plants, which should retain 3,500 employees who will build the new eight-speed automatic transmission as well as an upcoming nine-speed.
"This tentative agreement builds on the momentum of job creation and our efforts to rebuild America by adding 2,100 new jobs by the end of the agreement in 2015 to communities left in turmoil in the wake of the country's economic collapse." UAW President Bob King said in a statement.