Clock ticks to midnight deadline for FCA-UAW deal

The UAW and Fiat Chrysler have just a few hours left to get a deal done and both sides are still talking as employees continue working.

Tick tock. The UAW and Fiat Chrysler have just a few hours left to get a deal done and both sides are still talking as employees continue working.

Wednesday afternoon, it was business as usual at the Sterling Heights Chrysler plant. By Thursday at the same time, we may be seeing workers striking with picket signs in hand, but you wouldn't know it from the outside.

Just last month, union leaders and FCA announced a tentative deal. It was crushed just a few days later by the men and women who make up the union. Now, they wait.

"Low key, everyone still on the job, coming to work but  when midnight strikes, we are going to see," UAW member Anthony Boylend said.

"We're on standby right now," said Tim Davenport, UAW member. "We are just waiting to see if they can make an agreement by the end of the night. We don't want a strike but if that's what we have to do to get the things we deserve, then we are prepared to do it."

For a lot of workers, strike is a rather foreign subject and some say the younger workers may be in for a bit of a shock.

"I don't think they know what a strike is," said Kevin Butler, a UAW member. "A lot of people are brand new, haven't had seven-eight years in. I've been around 21 years and a strike is something to be concerned about."

UAW took to Facebook as a way of informing members what to expect: for example, pay during a strike will fall to $200 a week.

"Two hundred a week is nothing, we make that in a day," said Boylend.

Kevin Butler, a tier two employee, is hoping if they strike then a sacrifice in the short run will pay off once he gets back to work.

"That is going to be a huge change for my life, for my family," he said. "I'm definitely looking forward to making what my co-worker working next to me is making."

And his union brethren seem to have his back.

"I know I didn't start at $30 an hour but if I'm working alongside by side with you, you deserve the same pay that I do," Davenport said.

From the workers standpoints, communication has been at a minimum as for what to expect come midnight. Some of the workers have vented their frustrations of being kept out of the loop.
 


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