UAW vote set for Oct. 20-21; Fiat Chrysler announces Ferrari IPO

A new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles sign is pictured after being unveiled at Chrysler Group World Headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan May 6, 2014. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Staff Report

Union workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) plants across the country will have two days to vote up or down on a new labor agreement penned last week.

United Auto Workers (UAW) said Monday that the arrangement will give workers enough time to review the agreement before being asked to vote Oct. 20-21.

The 40,000 Chrysler autoworkers UAW represents rejected a new four-year deal on Oct. 1 by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. UAW and Chrysler agreed on the framework on a new contract during 11th-hour negotiations last week, avoiding a strike by a matter of hours.

Experts say that the two-day window marks a shift in UAW practice, which formerly allowed a lengthy voting period meaning that the outcomes from locals voting early in the process often reflected on those waiting until later in the period.

The agreement reached last week pushes out the time period from onboarding to reaching the top pay level, near $30 by the end of the proposed agreement, to eight years. Prior agreements saw most workers reach the top of the pay scale in only three years.

The new contract also eliminates the former two-tier pay scale maintained at Chrysler. Both Ford and GM eliminated the two-tier system in recent years.

New hires will make $17 per hour under the new contract, with annual pay raises of $1 per hour in the early years of their employment before moving to $2 per hour near the end of the eight-year window.

UAW announced the rollout of a new social media campaign in the build-up to next week’s vote. The union says that detractors used social media platforms leading to the Oct. 1 vote to inject fear and doubt its membership.

Autoworkers expressed doubts over the new deal following last Wednesday’s agreement.


Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari plan announced

ferrari_logoFCA announced Monday that an initial public offering for Ferrari will put around 10 percent of the sports car manufacturer onto Wall Street.

The IPO will see shares in Ferrari priced at $48 and $52, valuing the Italian-based manufacturer at $9.8 billion. FCA says it plans to use funds raised in the IPO as part of its 10-year $55 billion expansion across all of its brands.

FCA will continue to hold around 80 percent of Ferrari after the IPO. The company says it plans to distribute those shares among its own shareholders next year in another round of fundraising. The Ferrari family still maintains 10 percent ownership of the legendary luxury brand.

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