July 5, 2020

U.A.W. Shelves Chrysler Talks and Turns to Ford

After the U.A.W. announced a tentative contract with General Motors last week, it was widely expected to focus on Chrysler next with the goal of striking a more lucrative deal with Ford by leaving that company last. Instead, the union announced a four-week extension of the old contract with Chrysler — hours before an earlier extension was set to expire — and then said it was turning its attention to Ford.

“I have just concluded a meeting with President Bob King, and I am proud to announce that we have been chosen as the next department to begin the final stages of negotiations, and not Chrysler as previously speculated,” Jimmy Settles, the U.A.W. vice president in charge of negotiations with Ford, wrote in a message to workers that the union posted on Facebook. Mr. Settles wrote that he is eager “to begin intense discussions with the company and work towards a tentative agreement.”

The delay in reaching a deal with Chrysler follows a critical letter that Chrysler’s chief executive, Sergio Marchionne, sent last week to Mr. King. Mr. Marchionne chided Mr. King for failing to show up to finalize a settlement — Mr. King had chosen to remain in talks with G.M. rather than divide his time between the two companies — and said the two had “failed” workers by not finishing talks before the previous contract was set to expire.

Mr. Marchionne then traveled out of the United States on business but returned to Michigan earlier this week and had been expected to meet with Mr. King. He told reporters in Italy on Monday that he expected a quick resolution to the negotiations and was eager to “get this issue behind us.”

The latest extension with Chrysler expires Oct. 19.

“When one model stalls, you jump in another one that you think will be moving,” said Harley Shaiken, a professor of labor relations at the University of California at Berkeley. “It doesn’t mean that Chrysler is deadlocked; it simply means that there were some unexpected obstacles and the union thought Ford would be more productive.”

Meanwhile, G.M. workers are beginning to vote on their tentative agreement, which includes bonuses totaling $9,000 over four years, larger profit-sharing checks, raises for entry-level workers and new jobs for work that otherwise would have been performed in Mexico.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=cc8b2858e4c35ae54909b27a546a7e82

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