The World Socialist Web Site has obtained an advance copy of the United Auto Workers-Stellantis contract proposal, which the UAW International has stated it will post online Thursday night, following a livestream presentation by UAW President Shawn Fain and UAW Vice President for Stellantis Rich Boyer.
An initial review of the agreement makes clear that it is a sellout modeled on the UAW-Ford deal, if not worse.
The contract book includes hundreds of pages of “memoranda of understanding” between top Stellantis and UAW executives, all of which have been written by company and union lawyers and largely designed to conceal their meaning from workers.
The WSWS will continue to post updates on details of the UAW-Stellantis agreement throughout the day.
There is already growing opposition among rank-and-file Ford workers as they study their contract. The World Socialist Web Site calls on autoworkers at Stellantis, Ford, and General Motors to reject the sellout contracts being pushed by the United Auto Workers apparatus. We urge workers to establish rank-and-file committees to fight for the broadest possible “no” vote and prepare a real struggle to win workers’ demands.
Join the next meeting of the Autoworkers Rank-and-File Committee Network to discuss the implications of the UAW-Ford deal and how to organize to defeat the sellout. Register here to attend.
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“This ‘conversion’ really means remaining in a temporary position”: Stellantis TPT calls for “no” vote on UAW sellout deal
The following letter was sent to the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter from a temporary part-time worker at the Stellantis Warren Truck Assembly Plant in suburban Detroit.
Attention Union Brothers & Sisters,
After reviewing the Memorandum of Understanding on Supplemental Employees in the UAW-Stellantis tentative agreement, it is obvious that the elimination of the tier system has not been negotiated on our behalf as TPTs adamantly enough. It is proposed that the company continues the intentional use of temporary workers
UAW President Shawn Fain stated that upon ratification of this year's 2023 employee contract, the abuse of temps would be eliminated. The fine print of this contract says otherwise. Current TPTs are said to be converted to full-time after ratification, some are said to be converted immediately while others are told their conversion will not exceed 9 months. Even the nine-month period can be extended if both parties agree. In other words, this 'conversion' really means remaining in a temporary position.
TPT stands for temporary part-timer, TFT stands for temporary full-timer. While this contract has partially addressed the below poverty level wages TPT union members have been forced to make do with for years it still does not grant or clarify the conversion from a temporary position to a full-time seniority position.
Most TPTs have already been TFT employees by definition, anytime we've worked 40+ hours. As a TPT our counter-offer is essentially granting us more working hours with continued lower hourly wages, inadequate contractual protections, isolated accessibility of obtainable employee benefits, the inability to have access to the educational and apprenticeship programs offered by Stellantis to be able to grow and accelerate within the company, and no real sense of job security or clarification of when to expect such. TPTs will not even receive the cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) that seniority employees will get.
Over the last 6 weeks our TPT brothers and sisters have been both economically and financially left behind and hung out to dry. Most TPTs have been unscheduled consecutively for weeks and many still remain without work. I personally have not been scheduled in 6 weeks and I'm still counting! Throughout this time, I had my electricity shut off and received a pre-eviction notice.
Through all my many attempts with the company to get scheduled hours to relieve my current situation, I was heedlessly denied. Local TPT union members have been denied badge access, the ability to work and have been without pay since the stand-up strike started. We have stood in solidarity by hanging on with all we've got. We have sacrificed so much waiting on this 'record contract.'
As local members, aren't we fighting for a contract that benefits all union members? Before ratifying any tentative agreement, it should be every local union members’ priority that all members have an equal opportunity within the company's means of employment. Most of us unknowingly accepted the ramifications of the TPT role, we took the positions available to us so we could get into the company. This is unfair and unjust. The general rule of thumb for temporary positions amongst union workers of the Big Three used to ensure job security by initiating complete rollover from TPT to a full-time seniority position after 90 working days.
That being said this tentative agreement for TPTs is just not good enough. Considering all of the hardship we've faced throughout this negotiation thus far this proposal is not accurately compensating for what we've lost and it's not fully standing up for what we have to gain. As union members, we have the ability to make history and win a record contract that benefits all members! TPTs continue to stand strong, now in solidarity we must continue to stand strong together. TPT brothers and sisters deserve job security and longevity within the company too!
This proposal does not ensure protection for either current or future TPTs. Labor unions were created to protect employee rights and put a stop to employee exploitation. Members fight together for better pay and working conditions. As a union, we can be influential enough to secure these imperative demands. This negotiation not only sets the standards for the current tentative agreement but for all future agreements as well. We can win a record contract that benefits all members! We are more than capable, if the rank and file stands together and fights!
“They can trash it”: Stellantis workers opposing UAW contract
The UAW posted the tentative agreement it reached with Stellantis on its web site Thursday night. By Friday, many workers who began to comb through the hundreds of pages of the deal concluded that it was a pro-company contract that ignored their needs. Despite the huge propaganda campaign by the UAW bureaucracy, the news media and the Biden administration to sell the deal as an “historic victory,” many rank-and-file workers told WSWS reporters they would vote it down and were angered over the many details UAW President Shawn Fain and Vice President Rich Boyer were concealing from the membership.
At the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in suburban Detroit workers were upset with inadequate pay raises, the failure to abolish tiers and restore pensions to second tier workers, along with the loopholes the union and management added to delay the rollover of temporary workers to full-time positions.
They also pointed to changes in attendance policy, which will make it far easier for management to terminate workers. This includes extending the notification period to inform the company of an unscheduled absence from half an hour to one hour before the start of scheduled shifts.
Workers also pointed to changes the UAW agreed to regarding the use of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows workers to take unpaid leave without facing retribution. Under the UAW-Stellantis agreement, workers will now be required to use 50 percent of their annual vacation time and 50 percent of their Paid Absence Allowance days before taking FMLA leave.
“They’re saying we won so much, but EVs are going cut half of our jobs,” a veteran worker told the WSWS. “The young workers are going to get laid off first. I’ve worked here long enough, and I want to enjoy the test of my life. I’m upset with the four-and-a-half-year length of the contract and the fact that the five percent raise is not until the last year.”
Another worker said, “I don’t like the change they made to FMLA. We have to use half our vacation time and half our PAA days before with can take FMLA. That’s not fair. They’re already putting all sorts of restrictions on PAA. We have family emergencies and other life issues to take care off.”
“The contract is messed up because of the attendance policy,” another worker said. “If we have an emergence right before work, if we have an accident on (Interstate) 696, thirty minutes is enough time to call in. I know some people who go to radiation for cancer before they come into work, and they should be call in right before. They can trash this contract. It’s a ‘no’ for me.”
“This contract sucks. They forgot about the legacy workers who have been screwed for 20 years. I’ve gotten $3.60 in 20 years in GWI (General Wage Increase). What happened to the 46 percent we were supposed to get? [Fain] bailed out with 25 percent. I think it’s terrible. There’s a 40 percent lower signing bonus than the last contract. And they [UAW] squeezed every penny out of them that they could? I think that’s BS.” Referring to the rolling over of temporary workers, he said, “they’ve got all the loopholes to keep that from happening.”
Another worker said, “I don’t like the pay raise. Everybody should be at least at $35 an hour right away and not have to wait three years. Plus, they’re screwing around with FMLA and they’ve taken our performance bonuses away. They’re also shutting down a whole bunch of PDCs (parts distribution centers).”
A worker who was transferred from the Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois said, “This contract is garbage. Twenty-five percent is nothing compared to all that we lost. And the COLA could be anything.
“They say they’re going to roll over temps. But in the contract, it says only 1,957 temps will be rolled over 90 days after ratification. They’re going to be laying off temporary workers right before they reach nine-month roll over date. The new workers are going to get screwed.
“They say we can transfer back to Belvidere, but we don’t how when. The new factories are not going to open until 2027-28. They forced us to come here when they were closing the plant. I pay rent here, and it’s more expensive in Detroit, and I have a mortgage in Belvidere. I bought my house three years before we got laid off but I can’t live in it.
“Now the workers in the PDCs are going to be in the same boat as us. They are going to close 10 PDCs and the workers are going to have to uproot their families. They’ll tell them, ‘You want to keep your job, you got to leave your family behind and move hundreds of miles away. They’re telling the Ford workers at the Rouge to move to Tennessee. What do they have in Tennessee?
“There’s a lot that is wrong with this contract. They changed the attendance policy to make it easier to fire you. Now, you need to call off an hour in advance, instead of a half hour. You can also get two points in a single day, that’s almost a third of the way to getting fired.
“They also took away performance bonuses. You’ll have to work 1,850 hours to get a $1,000 bonus. But it is contingent on the whole area meeting that target. It’s not enough for you to come to work you have to be on top of everybody else, telling them, ‘Don’t take a day off or we won’t get a bonus.’ There is too much being hidden for this to be the ‘best contract ever.’ Anyway, if we got so much, what could we have gotten if we all walked out at once, like we wanted to do.”
UAW has agreed to target 19 facilities for closure under deal with Stellantis
The UAW has agreed to target 19 US facilities for closure in its sellout deal with Stellantis. The decision is buried in a letter to UAW Vice President Richer Boyer with the subject “Plant Closure” on page 251 of the contract book.
In the letter, Christopher G. Fields, Senior Vice President of Employee Relations and Manufacturing Human Resources, writes: “In order to optimize the Company’s current U.S. footprint to ensure our joint long-term success and viability, the Company notified the Union of the intent to close the following facilities during the term of the 2023 National Contract.”
The facilities listed are:
- Belvidere Assembly Plant (with the note: “Old Assembly plant facility will be closed, only if a new Assembly plant is built”)
- Tipton Transmission Plant
- Mt. Elliott Tool & Die
- Maserati Headquarters
- Detroit Office Warehouse
- Chrysler Office Building
- Chrysler Technology Center/HQ
- New York PDC
- Boston PDC
- Centerline Source PDC
- Centerline Packaging
- Sherwood PDC
- Warren PDC
- Orlando PDC
- Atlanta PDC
- Marysville PDC
- Milwaukee PDC
- Chicago PDC
- Arizona Proving Grounds
The facilities targeted for closure include 10 Mopar parts distribution centers (PDCs), accounting for half of the total number of Mopar warehouses in the US. Cynically, the UAW bureaucracy called out Mopar workers during its fraudulent “stand-up strikes” after agreeing to the closure of many of their facilities.
UAW President Shawn Fain and VP Boyer said nothing about the plans to shutter the 19 workplaces during their livestream announcing an agreement with Stellantis on October 28.
Fain and Boyer claimed during the video announcement last Saturday that the UAW leadership had fought off demands by the company for 5,000 job cuts. They claimed that Stellantis had instead promised to hire an additional 5,000 workers by the end of the contract.
With the closure of so many facilities, however, it is virtually certain that many workers will be forced to choose between transferring to other Stellantis sites hundreds of miles away, accepting some form of buyout, or simply having to quit and attempt to find employment elsewhere, leading to disruption and economic precariousness for likely thousands of workers and their families.
The total number of workers presently employed at the Stellantis facilities targeted for close was not immediately available. Stellantis states on its website that the Tipton Transmission plant employs 308 workers, while only eight are employed at Mt. Elliott Tool & Die. Stellantis previously stated that over 2,000 are employed across all its Mopar depots.
Fain and Boyer also claimed on Saturday that they had won a major victory in getting agreement from Stellantis to reopen its Belvidere, Illinois, assembly plant. The plant, which employed as many as 5,000 in recent years, was idled at the end of February.
“We are bringing back thousands of jobs to Belvidere,” Boyer declared Saturday. “We have won a new vehicle at Belvidere. It will be a mid-size truck and will have two shifts.”
It is not yet clear from the contract book when an assembly plant in Belvidere would reopen, whether a new assembly facility would be constructed, and how many would be employed.
Boyer also boasted that Stellantis had agreed to open a new EV battery plant in Belvidere and promised it would employ 1,000. According to the tentative agreement, the battery plant would not open until 2028.
A new “Belvidere Consolidated Mopar Mega Hub,” which reportedly will be modeled on a Amazon warehouse, is scheduled to be open in 2024 “through the consolidation of work from Marysville, Chicago and Milwaukee PDCs,” the contract states.
From the beginning, the UAW bureaucracy, the companies and the Biden administration have sought to conceal the plans for the decimation of workers as the automakers transition to electric vehicle production, which are widely expected to lead mass job cuts. Ford CEO Jim Farley has stated that EVs require 40 percent less labor to produce.
In the UAW’s agreement with Ford, the union accepted the categorization of all workers at the giant Rouge complex in Dearborn, Michigan, as “surplus” beginning no later than December 1, raising questions over whether the company is planning to idle the plant.
UAW executives spout lies about Stellantis sellout deal during livestream
If you can say anything about UAW President Shawn Fain, he keeps a straight face when he is lying through his teeth. That was certainly the case Thursday night when Fain and UAW Stellantis Department Director Rich Boyer attempted to pitch the UAW’s latest “historic agreement” during a livestreamed event.
Fain claimed his “stand up strike” policy had wrenched “every last dime” from Chrysler’s parent company, even though the UAW only called out two assembly plants and less than a third of the UAW’s 44,000 members at Stellantis. Underscoring the ineffectiveness of this policy, Ward’s reported that vehicle inventories rose for all three automakers during the isolated strikes. Stellantis reported earlier this week that its third-quarter revenue jumped 7 percent despite the strike.
Fain claimed the UAW had stopped plant closures and layoffs. In fact, the agreement accepts the shutdown of 19 facilities, including 10 Mopar parts distribution centers. Boyer said, “We had to face some hard choices for Mopar,” and boasted that although hundreds of workers losing their jobs and being forced to uproot their families would “cause some discomfort,” they would be paid “enhanced moving bonuses.”
Fain and Boyer claimed they forced Stellantis to reverse its decision to close the Belvidere, Illinois, assembly plant. They claimed that workers would be able to “return home” because the company had agreed to invest in a new electric vehicle and battery plant in the location. In fact, Stellantis was given hundreds of millions in state and federal tax cuts and subsidies to build the EV assembly plant, which will not open until 2027. As for the battery plant, it will not open until 2028.
UAW-Stellantis contract leaves door open to continued use of “perma-temps”
The UAW has agreed to even worse provisions for the conversion of temporary workers to full-time status at Stellantis than they did at Ford, leaving the door open to a form of highly exploited “perma-temp” status.
The Stellantis contract book indicates the company nominally agreed to convert future temps to full-time status after nine months, as in the Ford deal. However, the UAW’s deal with Stellantis includes the highly significant exception that the company and the union “can agree to extend this period”—making the nine-month restriction on employment as a temp practically meaningless.
In another concession, the Stellantis-UAW deal states that the nine months of “continuous service” before conversion will only begin to be counted once the contract is ratified.
These provisions are contained in section VII of memorandum of understanding M-16 on “supplemental employees” (the term Stellantis uses for both temporary full-time and temporary part-time workers), which states:
“Parties mutually agree to convert a Supplemental Employees [sic] to a Full-Time regular employee upon the completion of nine (9) months of continuous service. The nine (9) months will begin to accrue at the date of ratification of the 2023 Agreement. The Parties can agree to extend this period. [emphasis added].”
In another major concession, the UAW agreed to allow Stellantis to convert only a limited number of temps to full-time status if the contract is ratified.
In a letter to UAW Vice President Rich Boyer with the subject “Supplemental Conversions,” Stellantis states that only 1,957 temps will be converted to full-time “within 90 days of ratification.” Stellantis and the UAW do not spell out how they will determine which temps will be converted, stating that the “process for selection and placement of the converted employees will be agreed to by the parties.”
The letter states:
...the Company has agreed to convert a number of Supplemental Employees that equal eight (8) percent of the Non-Skilled Manufacturing and Mopar workforce to full-time positions for the purpose of covering unplanned absenteeism. The total number of Supplemental Employees converted to full-time will be 1,957. The process for selection and placement of the converted employees will be agreed to by the parties [emphasis added]. The number of converted employees allocated to individual facilities will be based upon operational need and will occur within 90 days of ratification, with canvassing to commence within thirty (30) days.
Ford, by contrast, stated in its agreement with the UAW that current temporary full-time (TFTs) workers with at least 90 days of “continuous service” would be converted to full-time status upon ratification of the agreement.
In a significant concession by the UAW, however, the Ford agreement does not state that temporary part-time workers (TPTs) with at least 90 days will be immediately converted, only referring to TFTs.
At both Ford and Stellantis, the UAW has also agreed to have the wages for temps set at just $21 an hour for the duration of the five-year contracts, through 2028.
A temporary part-time worker at the Stellantis Warren Truck plant told the WSWS: “The full-timers are going to vote ‘no.’ The temps think they are all going to get rolled over, but that is not the case.
“You have to really listen to Shawn Fain and read the contract, it’s not the truth. Shawn screwed us, no matter how you look at.
“It is important that workers read the contract and ask questions. Are they going to go by the nine months? They better not tell me, ‘I’ll get back to you with that answer.’ They better know the answer to all these questions. The language is so confusing, and they make it confusing because they don’t want you to understand.”
UAW agrees to more punitive absentee policy in Stellantis contract
Under the terms of the UAW tentative agreement with Stellantis, the company will have a freer hand to discipline and terminate workers who are late to work or take a day off. This includes combining the categories of “tardiness” and “absences” into one category, “occurrence.” This will result in workers accumulating disciplinary points far faster than under the 2019 agreement.
The language in the Memorandum of Understanding-Absenteeism, signed by the UAW, drips with contempt for workers and bootlicking for the company. It is does not even pay lip service to the real causes of absenteeism, such as exhausting and unpredictable work schedules, the lack of paid sick time and other time off, childcare challenges, the spread of COVID and other diseases in filthy and poorly ventilated plants, or the fact that many workers’ cars break down because they cannot afford to fix them.
Ignoring all that the letter states:
During these negotiations, the parties held extensive discussions on the far-reaching and detrimental impact of absenteeism on the cost, quality, operating efficiency, and employee morale. While there may be limited legitimate exceptions that preclude employees from reporting to work as scheduled, the parties nonetheless recognize and agree that it is a fundamental responsibility and expectation that all employees report to work on time, complete their full shift as scheduled, and leave at the conclusion of their respective shift. These stated behaviors are not only reflective of an engaged and fully committed workforce, but are essential to the success of the Company. To the extent possible, employees are expected to schedule all medical and personal appointments outside of normal scheduled work hours to minimize disruption to the efficiency of plant operations.
The letter outlines a series of changes to the Attendance Procedures. One change states, “Each occurrence [previously “absence”], whether separate or consecutive, shall be assessed points and will be subject to the Attendance Procedure.”
Under the new absenteeism language, the company will now issue disciplinary points as follows:
Each day of absence, whether individual days or consecutive days, shall be deemed an occurrence and assessed one (1) point …
Each tardy shall be deemed an occurrence. The first for (4) tardies incurred during a rolling twelve (12) month active on-roll period of employment will be assessed one-half (0.5) point under the Attendance Procedure, as long as the employee is not in a locked recovery period. Otherwise, each tardy shall be assessed one (1) point.
The notification period to inform the company of an unscheduled absence has been extended from half an hour to one hour before the start of scheduled shifts. This is the same as Tardies, which still must be reported a half hour before the shift. In addition, one point shall be assessed for no notification prior to the start of the shift for an absence or tardy; and one half-point shall be assessed for a late notification for an absence or tardy.
Language was also deleted from the attendance policy that protected workers from accumulating points for urgent medical treatment, including for a spouse or dependent child.
Commenting on the changes, one Detroit Stellantis workers said, “Tardies and absences used to be two separate things. You could accumulate six tardies and six absences and still work for the company.
“Let’s say I’ve been having a hard time getting to work on time because I’m juggling two jobs or school. I’m on my way to work and my car breaks down. In the past I could take a day off work instead of accumulating my seventh tardy, which they would fire me for. Now, no matter what type of occurrences, when you get nine, you’re terminated.
“In the new system, tardies are less than a point, but once you get five of any occurrences, they are counted as a full point too. Now, if you’re a no-show, no-call, you can get two points in one day, and you’re nearly a third of the way to getting fired.”
The “inefficiencies” in the plants are not caused by workers but the waste and disorganization of production by the corporate executives who always subordinate long-term interests, including of the businesses themselves, to the massive payouts to the corporate executives and wealthy shareholders.
WSWS Statement: Oppose the UAW-backed sellout contracts at Ford, GM and Stellantis!
The World Socialist Web Site calls on autoworkers at Ford, GM and Stellantis to reject the sellout contracts supported by the United Auto Workers apparatus. We urge workers to establish rank-and-file committees to fight for the broadest possible “no” vote and prepare a real struggle to win workers’ demands.
The UAW announced a tentative agreement with General Motors Monday morning after announcing similar deals over the past few days with Ford and Stellantis. UAW President Shawn Fain, US President Joe Biden and the corporate media issued the inevitable declarations that the contracts are “historic” (Fain and Biden), “reward autoworkers who gave up much” (Biden) and “give workers the biggest pay raises in decades” (New York Times).
These are a pack of lies. The UAW’s bogus “stand up strikes” were tightly scripted to conclude with deals that in fact had already been agreed to long ago. Barely a third of the UAW membership at the Big Three was called out on strike at the widest point of the “stand up strikes” last Tuesday. For most of the time after the Big Three contracts expired on September 14, 80-90 percent of autoworkers were ordered to stay on the job, working without contracts.
In a final burst of theatrics before the agreements were announced, the UAW called out a small number of larger, more profitable plants, shutting them down after a handful of days or less. Workers were ordered to end their pickets at these plants before there was any impact on the inventories the companies had built up.
All of this was designed in advance by the UAW leadership and the Biden administration to have as little effect on corporate profits as possible. Topping off this charade, the UAW apparatus shut down all strikes immediately after announcing their agreements, before workers even had a chance to see, let alone vote, on them.