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Marchionnes shared views with UAW chief could help U.S. contract talks

Release Date:2015/08/31   Sources of information:Automotive News Europe
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, left, says his relationship with UAW President Dennis Williams will help the two sides reach a new labor agreement. He also said all automakers have abused the UAW in the past.

Sergio Marchionne said he believes his straightforward relationship with UAW President Dennis Williams will help Fiat Chrysler reach a new labor agreement with the union.

The Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO, as part of a broader interview with Automotive News in Detroit recently, said the two men have a mutual understanding that will make a difference as the two sides negotiate a new contract before the current one expires Sept. 14.

The UAW late Friday said 97 percent of the FCA rank-and-file voted to give the union leadership authorization to strike, if necessary. Strike authorizations, typically a procedural move during contract talks, are still pending at General Motors and Ford Motor Co.

Marchionne, during the recent interview, said although he and Williams are not personally close, "we share a view about the fact that, in some fashion, to the extent that we are successful in creating wealth out of these car companies, real wealth, then we should be able to distribute that."

And in colorful language, Marchionne said all automakers have abused the UAW in the past.

"To be perfectly honest, we've all [expletive] with the UAW, right? We were threatened by them, so we took all the pickup trucks that we sell -- and 90 percent of those pickup trucks are sold in this country, right -- we took it away, and then we delocalized them" in Mexico, Marchionne said during the interview.

"If you move the truck back here, which is [the UAW's] domain, with all the cars that we get killed on somewhere else, we could actually make sense of this bloody industry and actually increase the number of people employed in this country, right, and really share wealth because we are making money," he said.

The CEO added: "What a wonderful idea, distributing cash when you have it."

Williams was in labor negotiations and could not be reached for comment.



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