More after the jump.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
The health care issue is a big one because U.S. automakers have more than $100 billion dedicated to health care for retired workers. If they can reach an agreement, the revised plan with Chrysler is likely to mimic the one with GM and Ford, where retirees would have a deductible placed on their policies and have higher co-pays on prescription drugs. Current workers would have to contribute part of future wage increases towards a trust fund for health needs, too.
Since DaimlerChrysler announced Cerberus would be taking a controlling stake in Chrysler, they are somewhat out of the deal. The negotiations are apparently in the Chrysler Group's hands even though Cerberus is likely to be involved. Cerberus is expected to demand more from the unions than Daimler would have. Some of this is a sort of pre-negotiation, getting ready for the big round of contract talks that will take place with the big three next month. Hopefully some type of compromise can be reached.
More coverage of the upcoming UAW labor talks can be found at BloggingStocks.