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UAW members approve labor deal with Fiat Chrysler

United Auto Workers members on Dec. 11 approved a new four-year labor contract with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV's U.S. division.

The contract includes $9,000 per full-time member signing bonus, wage increases and boosts the automaker's U.S. investment.

The labor deal will lift current full-time employees to top pay over the life of the contract. Production workers already earning top pay, along with skilled trades workers, will receive two 4% lump-sum bonuses and two 3% general wage increases, according to the union.

The contract includes $4.5 billion in new product investments, along with a previously announced $4.5 billion investment that includes a new assembly plant in Detroit, the union said.

FCA said the investments will go toward producing two new Jeep brand vehicles, the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and electric vehicles. The automaker said the investments are expected to create 6,500 jobs, including 5,000 in Detroit.

Fiat Chrysler is the last of the three major car companies to sign a new contract with the union. General Motors Co.'s full-time workers received an $11,000 ratification bonus after a six-week strike, while Ford workers received $9,000 bonuses.

"It is not easy in pattern bargaining to be the final Detroit 3 contract," UAW President Rory Gamble said. "It means a much longer period of negotiating. Our negotiating team at the UAW and those local national negotiators were able to keep pattern and consequently negotiate a contract that will lift many lives during the life cycle of this contract."

Union bargaining might be over until 2023, but the UAW is embroiled in an ongoing federal corruption investigation with links to FCA and GM. Several officials have been charged in the ongoing investigation that uncovered a bribery scheme within the UAW. The union recently announced new ethics reforms and financial procedures to prevent future misconduct.

On Nov. 20, GM filed a federal racketeering lawsuit against FCA and its former executives.