TOLEDO: As the negotiations on a new labour contract between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and Detroit’s carmakers enter their final stretch, tensions have steadily climbed in the home of Jeep.
Jeep is one of the fastest growing brands in the industry and is one of the singular successes of Fiat’s acquisition of the Chrysler Group. Sales are up 21 per cent this year alone, and they make FCA US, the American arm of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), crucial to the overall group.
FCA’s manufacturing base in Toledo, Ohio churns out more than 400,000 popular Jeep models like the Cherokee and Wrangler a year, many of them for export markets around the world.
At issue is the future of that production in Toledo — where FCA has 5,400 full-time employees — along with union demands for wage increases and efforts by FCA to cut overtime pay.