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Less than three years ago, Chrysler was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy as our nation was thrown into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Today, we are proud to say that, because of the sacrifice and dedication of our UAW Chrysler members, the company has turned the corner. Through this agreement, we have made significant progress in ensuring that Chrysler workers are rewarded for their role in the company’s turnaround success.
We are proud of our union and the UAW Chrysler National Negotiating Committee, especially given Chrysler’s fragile economic position. This tentative agreement paves the way for added jobs and investment in plants and communities left in turmoil in the wake of the country’s economic collapse. We were able to secure current jobs and add an additional new 2,100 during the term of this agreement. The agreement also includes a significant commitment from Chrysler to invest directly in our plants, and in engineering and design to bring new and upgraded models that will be produced in our plants. $4.5 billion will be invested directly into retooling and upgrading plants.
UAW members sacrificed when the company was struggling, and this agreement ensures that our members will be secure in their jobs and will share in Chrysler’s return to prosperity when that is achieved. While new jobs, investment and new products for our plants are the most important components of a secure future for our members, we were also able to make important gains in both income and benefits in this tentative agreement.
During these negotiations, Chrysler sought to extend their ability to keep an unlimited number of workers at the New Hire wage, but instead, the 25 percent cap will be reinstated at the end of this contract, as outlined in the bankruptcy settlement agreement. At that time, all workers in excess of the 25 percent cap will be begin receiving the same wages as traditional Chrysler workers.
We heard your demands for raising the standard of living for New Hire workers and through this proposed agreement, we were able to significantly increase the New Hire wages to $19.28 over the term of the agreement. New Hire workers will be eligible for tuition assistance programs, unlimited $25 co-pay for doctor’s office visits, life insurance and other benefits. The tentative agreement includes a ratification bonus of $3,500, half paid in 2011 and half in 2012; $1,000 in annual Quality and Performance bonuses; and up to $1,000 in an annual “Upside Bonus” paid annually on achieving World Class Manufacturing (WCM) metrics. Another important gain is the strong improvements we made in transparency and simplicity in the profit sharing plan. Additionally, we were able to win back our Tuition Assistance Program.
We are extremely proud of the job that was done by the entire UAW Chrysler National Negotiating Committee. We employed new strategies and tactics in these difficult economic times. Your negotiating team fought successfully not only to beat back the corporation’s attempt to weaken our contract, but also to win major improvements we all can be proud of.
This document summarizes the tentative agreement the UAW has reached with Chrysler. Please review it carefully, and go to www.uaw.org to review the entire agreement. And we urge you to vote “YES” in favor of ratification.
Bob King, president
International Union, UAW
General Holiefield, vice president and director
International Union, UAW UAW Chrysler Department