US car workers get first raise in decade

  • 19/09/2015

US auto workers have won their first raise in a decade in a deal with Fiat Chrysler's US subsidiary that will be used as a template for talks with General Motors and Ford, their union says.

The United Auto Workers union succeeded at clawing back some of the major concessions made in order to help the Detroit Three carmakers survive the 2008 financial crisis.

But while the wage gains are significant, the UAW was not able to fully close a much-maligned pay gap between newer hires and those with seniority.

It was also unable to stop FCA US from shifting some US production to Mexico, but union officials said they do not expect any jobs to be lost because demand for the vehicles that will remain in the United States is so strong.

"Once the membership looks at it, I think they'll ratify it. They'll see it's a fair and balanced agreement," UAW president Dennis Williams told reporters.

The UAW contracts cover 142,000 workers at the Detroit Three, of which nearly 40,000 work for FCA.

The union has traditionally negotiated similar contracts with all three major US carmakers in order to prevent their employers from suffering competitive disadvantages.

But Williams has indicated he may seek richer deals from GM and Ford because they are on better financial footing than FCA.