The collective bargaining agreement Fiat Chrysler Automobiles signed with Unifor in early October is "relatively satisfactory" and keeps the automaker competitive in Canada, CEO Sergio Marchionne said.
"It buys us peace on the farm for the next four years," Marchionne said Tuesday during a conference call to discuss a rise in FCA’s third-quarter profits.
"I think when you look at the impact of the overall cost as the result of the contract and combine that with the [low] Canadian dollar, both Canadian plants remain competitive," Marchionne said.
FCA's Windsor, Ont., assembly plant builds the Chrysler Pacifica and Grand Caravan while its Brampton, Ont., plant builds the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger and Challenger.
Wage and pension provisions in the FCA contract mirror those in an earlier General Motors’ labour accord, which became the pattern for Unifor’s negotiations with the Detroit Three automakers in Canada.
Workers will receive a C$6,000 signing bonus, legacy workers will receive a four per cent raise over the life of the deal, and new hires get wage increases each year under the 10-year grow-in period.
"On the economics, we were followers because we were bound by the GM deal," Marchionne said.
The FCA contract also includes the promise of a C$325-million investment at the Brampton assembly plant, which will get a new paint shop, and upgrades at the Etobicoke casting plant in Toronto.
Improvements are set to begin in the summer of 2017. The contract was ratified overwhelmingly on Oct. 16.
Unifor is now negotiating with Ford Motor Co. A strike deadline of 11:59 p.m. ET on Oct. 31 has been set.