The next move has yet to be decided. But it will probably return to the negotiating table, either with Fiat Chrysler or with one of the other USA automakers, General Motors or Ford Motor.
With the rise of “transplant” auto manufacturers like Toyota, Nissan and Volkswagen in the United States, a long-term strike today could not only lose sales for the company, but it could lose workers their jobs, said Richard Hurd, associate dean and professor of labor studies at Cornell.
“We don’t consider this a setback; we consider the membership vote a part of the process we respect”, said Dennis Williams, the new UAW president who is trying to reach his first set of labor deals with the nation’s automakers.
“We will gather the issues together; notify FCA [Fiat Chrysler] that further discussions are needed”.
General Motors rose 12%, while Ford climbed 23%. After weeks of voting by the 40,000 hourly and salaried members, the UAW on Thursday released the official results: 65% voted no. According to the automaker, workers were not upset over what was in the contract but what was missing.
“All the UAW workers in Metro Detroit are bombarded with rumors or work going to Mexico”, said Simon Vuli, who has worked at Sterling Heights Assembly for three years. “They can’t do what the membership won’t ratify”. “Lack of details in an age of social media is a recipe for rumors, and you’ve had plenty of those out there”.
To be sure, as USA unions have lost members and gained more global competition, they have tended to call fewer strikes.
The new contract would have helped close that gap by raising the tier two pay range to between $22 and $25.35.
“The cyclical nature of the automotive business demands that while we must recognize the need for rewarding employees during times of prosperity, we must also protect against the inevitable market downturn”, the company said. Local plant contracts are negotiated separately from the national contract.
Sales at the Volkswagen-owned luxury brand Audi rose 16.2 percent in September, lifting total sales from the two companies to 43,481, about 3,000 vehicles more than expected by the online auto site Edmunds.com.
“The memories of our near-death experience in 2009 are vivid to this day in the minds of most of us at FCA”.
“The memories of our near-death experience in 2009 are vivid to this day in the minds of most of us at FCA”, the company said, referring its USA bankruptcy.
“The company sometimes forgets and we have be the one to protect our customers because if they don’t get a quality product they will likely go elsewhere next time”, Hillyard said.
But many workers also have said they don’t like the proposed contract because it doesn’t provide entry-level workers with a full path to the $28-per-hour average wage that workers hired before 2007 make, and a lack of clarity on a new health care cooperative.