A UAW leadership-approved contract between GM and the UAW is only a couple days from a rank and file vote deadline, so the UAW has begun negotiations with its next target, Chrysler LLC. The Cerberus-owned automaker is looking for a similar deal to what GM received, plus the same wage/benefit breaks GM and Ford received the past couple years. Chrysler feels it was slighted then when the UAW denied DCX its wish to even the playing field with Ford and GM when those companies got a benefit break, so that may be a big hurdle. Since Chrysler LLC doesn't have to deal with stockholders or a board, the Auburn Hills-based company can play its cards closer to the vest than others. Analysts are eager to learn if the new, privately-owned Chrysler will follow suit in talks, or try to go in a different direction.

Since GM has laid the framework for Chrysler and Ford labor contracts, we're hoping Chrysler and the UAW can come to a quick resolution without a strike. If Chrysler tries to take the wrong fork in the road, however, this could get interesting. Just this morning an anchor on a TV morning news program commented that if a strike against Chrysler does happen, it could start as early as tomorrow.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]

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