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Fiat Chrysler and UAW avoid a strike with tentative agreement

A Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck is displayed outside the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles truck assembly plant in Warren, Mich.
A Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck is displayed outside the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles truck assembly plant in Warren, Mich. Bloomberg

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the United Auto Workers reached a tentative deal on a new labor agreement, averting a strike that would have seen the union’s 40,000 members walk off the job.

The UAW’s bargaining committee made “significant gains” in the agreement, the union announced on its website, saying it would make details available pending the results of a vote Friday. Fiat Chrysler confirmed the accord Thursday in a statement and said it can’t discuss specifics.

“We heard from our members and went back to FCA to strengthen their contract,” UAW president Dennis Williams said in the union’s statement. “We have made real gains and I look forward to a full discussion of the terms with our membership.”

A strike would have disrupted Fiat Chrysler’s production amid the company’s streak of 66 consecutive U.S. monthly sales gains and clouded an auto industry that has been a rare bright spot in U.S. manufacturing, with deliveries on pace for the best year in more than a decade.

A walkout would have prevented the UAW from moving on to talks with General Motors and Ford that could yield more lucrative contracts.

“That’s good news because we don’t want to strike if we don’t have to,” said Charles Bell, president of UAW Local 1700, which represents workers at the Chrysler 200 sedan assembly plant in Sterling Heights, Mich. “As long as it’s an agreement my people can deal with, it’s good news.”

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