In early December, Teamsters released a report, claiming that Fiat/Chrysler and GM's use of cut-rate carhaul companies is threatening consumer confidence and public safety. The report says that these carhaul companies, which are not unionized, use "inexperienced drivers using inappropriate equipment and methods that endanger the vehicles they are delivering to unsuspecting car buyers."
Before the holidays, the union negotiated a deal with GM to protect existing Teamsters who do carhaul work for the manufacturer, but they have not reached an agreement with Chrysler.
According to the Teamsters, Fiat/Chrysler received $14 billion in the taxpayer-funded auto bailout, but have been moving work away from the professional carhaul companies they've used in the past. Some carhaul drivers have taken pay cuts up to 17.5 percent, Teamsters said.
"After Fiat/Chrysler received so much taxpayer money, it is disappointing that they would outsource good Michigan carhaul jobs to low-wage contractors," said Fred Zuckerman, director of the Teamsters Carhaul Division. "In this economy, America cannot afford to lose even more good jobs with good benefits. American taxpayers, who thought Fiat/Chrysler would repay them with gratitude and loyalty instead of greed, are being betrayed."
On Sunday, Teamsters protested outside the Chicago Blackhawks-Detroit Red Wings hockey game and outside the North American International Auto Show to ask Fiat/Chrysler not to outsource these jobs. Teamster members handed out leaflets to attendees that read, "Fiat/Chrysler Wants Detroit to Lose Good Jobs." In the sky overhead an airplane circled, trailing a banner that read, "Fiat/Chrysler Wants Detroit to Lose."
On Saturday, more than 600 Teamsters rallied in downtown Detroit and then marched in a mock funeral procession to the North American International Auto Show at the Cobo Center. Friday evening families of carhaulers marched on the charity preview of the North American International Auto Show.
Last week, Teamsters representatives also attended the Automotive News World Congress at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center to protest.
"Professional car carrier companies and their workers have made sacrifices to help auto makers in these tough times," said Bill Black, Teamsters Joint Council 43 executive director. "The small cost savings Fiat/Chrysler might generate by moving work to cut-rate carriers are greatly outweighed by the destruction of a stable carhaul industry and good middle class jobs."