The Actual Chrysler-UAW 2011 Contract.

2011 Chrysler-UAW contract language for hourly production, maintenance and parts workers as well as pension and appendix language.  Linky.   The summary below is on the front page of Soldiers of Solidarity.  The site is the work of Gary Shotwell, a long time UAW member, and agitator of the UAW.  Mr Shotwell’s banner statement: “Workers Rights are not defined by Law or Contract.  Workers Rights are defined by Struggle.  You will Win what you are willing to Fight for.   Nothing more.”– G. Shotwell.


This contract has NO FAIRNESS. We ALL deserve better.

There is a lot of “NO” in this contract:

NO parity with General Motors or Ford:

· We get $1750 upon ratification. The other $1750, only “when the company achieves financial stability,” is misrepresented as a ratification bonus—we might not get it at all.

· We get only $500 a year “inflation protection” which is less than the $600 Christmas bonus we lost in 2009. We might get another $500 for quality, but “no award will be paid if Chrysler Group LLC determines that targets were not met.” An “audit score adjustment factor” would give workers in some plants up to $1000, but only if they achieve a bronze or higher WCM score (not likely in the next four years).

· Profit sharing? Chrysler can make up to $1.25 billion in operating profits—a long shot considering the company claims to have “lost” $254 million in the first half of 2011—before we get a cent.

· In other words all but $3750 depends on “metrics” that we have no say in and minimal control over.

NO repayment of past losses! $3750 does not begin to compensate us for the concessions of 2009—“suspensions” of raises, bonuses, holidays and more that were supposed to be temporary—that cost each worker a minimum of $9000. Bonuses that average less than $1000 per year do not make up for the thousands of dollars we will have lost at the end of our Chrysler career if we allow the “suspensions” to be transformed into permanent losses.

NO end to two-tier pay. Raises for “entry level” workers—UAW sisters and brothers like everyone else—leave them at least a $9 an hour behind “traditional” employees and their pay can still barely support a family. There are no commitments to make Temporary Part Time workers permanent. TPTs and Summer Vacation Replacements do not count towards the 25% cap on “entry level,” which does not even go into effect until 2015. Even if some entry level workers are moved into the “traditional” pay bracket they will not get traditional benefits. All these tiers lower wages for everyone in the long run and keep us all “divided and conquered.”

NO COLA or improvement factor raises—“traditional” pay is frozen for another four years. We have not had a raise since 2006. Are we paying the same for food, gas and utilities as we did in 2006? Time-and-a-half only after 40 hours.

NO guarantees that there will be 2100 new jobs; any new jobs will be 100 per cent second tier. New jobs will be offset by reduction of jobs in skilled trades. Language that made the company fill attritional openings has been deleted. A new loophole—“market related volume declines” has been added to the toothless moratorium on plant closings and spinoffs. The UAW workforce at Chrysler could be even less than 26,000 by 2015.

NO end to forced transfers of workers on indefinite layoff—without “closed plant” status they still lose their seniority. Laid off workers run out of SUB after 26-52 weeks. The job bank is gone.

NO let up in the decimation of skilled trades. The company will continue cutting skilled trades to the bone through outsourcing, combining and eliminating classifications (“rationalization”), and dumping more trades work on production through Autonomous Maintenance. Lines of demarcation will be a thing of the past. Two thirds of all skilled positions could be eliminated at Chrysler, Ford and GM if they follow the pattern of GM’s totally restructured Lake Orion assembly plant.

NO lost holidays returned. We did not get back Easter Monday and lost the “floating holiday” (the one Friday before Labor Day that was in the last contract) and July 5, 2013 (the Friday after Thursday, July 4, which we would have off with pay in previous contracts).

NO restoration of relief time cut in 2009, which amounts to roughly 25 hours per year. Six to eight minutes per day now cut for Alternative Work Schedule/Flexible Operating Pattern workers.

NO $700 Christmas bonus for retirees and pensions are frozen for four years.

NO bereavement for same-sex partners and health insurance cut for same-sex partners’ children.

NO change to the inhumane combined attendance and tardiness procedure. One occurrence removed now, and then 4 more years under the gun.

NO end to AWS and FOP, with some crews having their regularly scheduled 10-12 hour days on weekends for straight time. Dundee and Trenton only won—after Dundee voted to strike—relief from changing shifts from week to week. The company can impose AWS or FOP on a plant without local union approval.

NO fairness in overtime: “the Local Unions and local plant managements may negotiate local agreements for the purposes of equalizing team based”—not by rotation or seniority anymore—“overtime hours or overtime opportunities in the same department and classification and on the same shift.”

AND NO, Fiat-Chrysler is not broke. Cash reserves of Fiat and Chrysler have been combined and the company is sitting on a pot worth $27 billion. Car sales are up and market share has increased. Chrysler’s hourly labor costs are $7-9 less than Ford, GM and Toyota. The Treasury loans have been paid in full ahead of schedule, drastically lowering lending rates. And they did not “lose” $254 million. When the bosses borrowed money to pay off the Treasury there were servicing fees. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and their cohorts got half billion bucks. We got a button! We are forfeiting everything we thought we could get back if we vote yes.

Many of us are understandably worried about what we could lose if we vote no and the contract goes to arbitration. We are on unchartered waters. There is no predicting how the arbitrator would rule or how long it would take. We don’t know what might weigh in on the ruling. There are the GM and Ford patterns, our past concessions, and there’s Fiat’s 27-billion-dollar cash reserve. Might not an arbitrator consider these factors? Granted, it is a huge gamble. But can’t our negotiators go back to the table and try to demand a better contract?

The “Occupy Wall St.” protests in New York and hundreds of other cities have put the spotlight on corporate greed. One way we can protest corporate greed is by voting NO on this contract. We would be acting in a proud and dignified manner in the tradition of the sit-downs of the 1930s. We would be showing Marchionne that we reject his “culture of poverty” and will not be blackmailed by scare tactics.

Whatever the vote, we rank-and-file members have to come together. We can’t let tiers keep us divided. We need to find a way to revive the fighting tradition of the UAW. 

Posted on October 18, 2011, in Labor Relations and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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