The Detroit News is reporting that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is asking around 24,000 employees to repay hundreds of dollars in SUB-pay benefits after employees received federal COVID-19 relief funds. The situation comes as union employees received payments from both the company and the government, which overcompensated its union workforce.
After last year’s contract negotiations, FCA is required to provide SUB-pay to its United Auto Workers (UAW) union employees who are temporarily laid off. Workers are entitled to compensation of up to 74% of their usual 40-hour wages. With the assistance relief funds from the United States’ government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the total surpasses the 74% with the government assistance alone.
In the report, it states that the additional CARES funds retroactively went into effect the week of April 4th. It was at that point that FCA had already paid out its supplemental benefits, for the second week during the shutdown of its North American operations. FCA is requesting that payment back from its workforce.
FCA is allowing its employees to repay the overpayment funds via payroll reductions, in increments of $100. According to the report, the average payout was $500. The decision is sure to rattle some of its union employee base.
The decision isn’t surprising as FCA has been looking for ways to save cash during the COVID-19 pandemic. You might remember, that FCA had cut the wages of its white-collar staff for three-months by 20%. The company also announced it was letting 2,000 of its around 3,000 of its temporary workers go, amid the crisis.
As of the writing of this article, the UAW has yet to release a statement on the issue. FCA manufacturing operations reopened at most of its facilities on May 18th.