chrysler plant overview

Photo of Chrysler overview by Barb Appelhans

By Kathryn Menue


BELVIDERE – On Monday, Sept. 14 the United Auto Workers (UAW) for Chrysler met with Fiat Chrysler representatives to negotiate terms for the new contract, since the old four-year contract was set to end at midnight on Sept. 14.

Negotiations were set in Detroit, at the Chrysler headquarters.

Both sides couldn’t agree to a set contract by midnight of Sept. 14, so they decided to extend the existing contract “until further notice,” (

Heated discussion continued on through the night and on through the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 15.

As of Tuesday morning, negotiators “took a break Tuesday morning after bargaining through the night,” (

Finally, both parties came together again a reached a decision late Tuesday evening.

Both sides agreed upon a new tentative contract that would “eventually remove a controversial two-tier wage system that saw newer hires paid less than their more-experienced co-workers, according to people familiar with the agreement,” Christina Rodgers of Market Watch ( said.

Both sides agreed upon this tentative contract, but Jodi Tinson, a communications representative for Manufacturing and Labor with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) said, “The terms of the agreement still need to be voted on and ratified by the UAW membership.”

According to the FCA, the “new collective bargaining agreement with the UAW” covers “approximately 40,000 represented members” and that “the agreement is subject to UAW member ratification,” which should take place within the next few weeks.

Prior to meeting with Fiat Chrysler representatives, the local UAW 1268 distributed strike information, just in case an agreement couldn’t be reached with the new contract.

Fortunately, the information that the UAW handed out has not needed as of yet and workers can continue on their regular schedules due to the agreement forged on Tuesday night.

In case the contract isn’t ratified, the strike information includes strike instructions comprised of picket assignments, strike check information, and who must strike.

“All members must participate in strike activity to be eligible for strike benefits (including part-time and new hires),” the strike instruction sheet stated.

Union employees were also asked to visit their local Union Hall to fill out picket cards in order to strike and still receive benefits. Union employees were advised to keep picket cards safe because it meant “strike benefits” for them.

The local Union Hall is located at 1100 W. Chrysler Drive in Belvidere. They can be contacted at (815) 544-2111.

For more information on the FCA or on the Fiat Chrysler contract agreement, please visit:

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