UAW cites ‘difficult issues’ as FCA contract talks continue

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DETROIT — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the UAW still have some “difficult issues to resolve” as negotiators work to finalize a deal, the union said Monday.

Cindy Estrada, vice president of the UAW’s FCA department, said there have been “a few outside distractions” since Ford workers approved their contract on Nov. 15.

Since that time, former UAW President Gary Jones resigned and GM filed a racketeering lawsuit against FCA and three former executives.

“Much progress has been made but we still have some difficult issues to resolve. Your negotiators are committed to bargaining a pattern agreement that meets the needs of the membership and provides long-term job security,” Estrada said.

Estrada said the union previously negotiated an agreement with FCA that Thanksgiving Day and the Friday after will be paid holidays under their extension agreement.

Art Schwartz, president of Labor and Economics Associates in Ann Arbor, Mich., said last week that if he were in the shoes of FCA bargainers right now who have various controversies swirling, he’d simply do his job.

“They know that this is a pattern industry. They probably have some stuff they’d prefer not to be in the pattern, so they’re going to be pushing for that,” Schwartz said. He still thinks they’re “going to go ahead and execute their game plan.”

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