A group of UAW dissidents cited the disapproval of skilled-trades workers in its appeal over the union's decision to ratify its new contract with Chrysler Group. On Oct. 26, the UAW said that the contract will be ratified since 55% of voting workers approved it. The contract got the support of the production workers but it was rejected by 56% of skilled-trades workers.
Alex Wassell, a member of the UAW dissident group Autoworkers Caravan in Warren, Mich., told The Detroit News that they opposed the tentative deal but that a “procedural loophole” was used to ratify it. He explained that they will do what they can to overturn it since it is a “very bad agreement and a very bad precedent.”
UAW spokeswoman Michele Martin declined to comment on the issue. So far, the formal UAW-Chrysler contract hasn’t been signed. A source said that until this happens, workers will not get their initial signing bonuses of $1,750 each for approving the contract. The UAW's public review board may schedule a hearing for this appeal but it isn’t clear just how long the process will be.
The union's executive board initiated a probe to determine why a majority of the union's skilled trades members voted against the deal. In an Oct. 26 statement after it ratified the Chrysler pact, the union said that they rejected the agreement for reasons that were “predominantly economic and not unique to skilled trades members.” [source: Autonews]