FCA, Unifor Reach Agreement on New Deal, Averting Strike

Unifor strike committee members have hundreds of picket signs ready in case of a strike

Unifor strike committee members have hundreds of picket signs ready in case of a strike

Additionally, the headcount at Fiat Chrysler in Canada is expected to grow by almost 2,000 as a result of the new platform, with workers starting to come on board in 2023.

Unifor National President Jerry Dias said Thursday that the deal, which averts a strike, will "stabilize" operations for the long term at Fiat Chrysler's Windsor assembly, where the vehicle company cut a third shift this past summer, eliminating around 1,500 jobs at the minivan-production facility.

Earlier this year, the Windsor plant lost its third shift causing 1,500 workers to be laid off.

Said Jerry Dias, "Not only is Fiat-Chrysler maintaining the current portfolio but they will be investing three derivatives to enhance the current portfolio".

Last year, Fiat Chrysler negotiated a new contract in the US with the United Auto Workers that included wage increases and improved health-care benefits.

It's also a home run for proponents of electric vehicles, coming on the heels of a $2-billion deal between Unifor, Ford Motor Co. of Canada and the Ontario and federal governments to build EVs in Oakville.

Both governments could chip in again to help Fiat Chrysler's spending plans.

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FCA confirmed a tentative agreement was reached with Unifor on a new contract, but wouldn't divulge any details at this point.

"We are at the table and prepared to support the future of our auto sector, particularly with regards to the development of electric vehicle and battery production here in Canada", Bains' spokesperson said.

Before the Wednesday night deadline, Unifor had warned members to prepare for a strike, saying talks had bogged down on issues related to wages, health-care benefits and investment commitments at the Canadian factories.

The Brampton assembly plant would also see Can$50 million in investment, which woud allow additional models to be produced there.

Brampton needs more than the Challenger to sustain it over the long term, and a crossover on a minivan platform would make sense for Windsor, given other changes to Fiat's lineup, said Sam Fiorani, vice president at AutoForecast Solutions in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania. "I urge members to support this settlement", said James Stewart, Unifor's FCA Master Bargaining Committee Chair.

The deal came just as the company's workers were set to go on strike at midnight Thursday.

Unifor is then expected to begin negotiations with General Motors' Canadian division next week.

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