Votes this week will decide the fate of a four-year contract proposal for Fiat Chrysler employees nationwide. Today, union workers in Belvidere’s plant will cast their ballots.
Belvidere is one of the big Fiat Chrysler plants UAW leaders hope will approve the national contract the union hammered out with the automaker. So far this week, workers at a number of factories have rejected the deal. A truck plant in Warren, Michigan approved it.
Belvidere, Toledo, Ohio, and Sterling Heights, Michigan could help make up the difference if they ratify the contract today. More than a quarter of Fiat Chrysler’s US employees work in those three plants. Voting is already underway and runs through 7 this evening at the union hall in Belvidere.
The UAW reached a tentative agreement with the company two weeks ago. It includes pay increases, but does NOT end lower wages for newer workers.
If it passes, it could serve as a model for the UAW’s contract negotiations with GM and Ford. If it’s rejected, the union could call a strike, head back to the bargaining table, or move on to working with the other two automakers in search of a more appealing contract deal.