UAW local leaders approve Chrysler contract, rank and file vote next

The tentative four-year labor contract between the UAW and Chrysler LLC is closer to being ratified after local UAW officials approved the deal in a vocal vote today. The Detroit News reports that there were a few local leaders who let their "No" votes be heard, but those who approved the contract ultimately carried it through. Now local UAW leaders can bring the contract to their rank and file, some 45,000 hourly workers, who ultimately have the final say over whether or not it's accepted.
[Source: The Detroit News]

The new labor agreement between the UAW and Chrysler LLC came after a token strike against the automaker by the union. Lasting mere hours, the strike resulted in a contract that is very similar to the one that was just ratified GM's UAW workforce. Chrysler will reportedly set up a VEBA account to handle retiree health care costs, though it will likely contribute around $10 billion to the trust rather than the $19 billion that GM is contributing to its larger VEBA. Chrysler reportedly also won a lower wage scale, and insiders say the automaker did get the UAW to agree to health care concessions it didn't offer back in 2005. Chrysler, meanwhile, has reportedly guaranteed to have work for 80% of its UAW plants and facilities throughout the four-year contract.

It certainly appears that the UAW was forced to concede more in its contract with Chrysler than General Motors. Talks are currently happening with Ford Motor Company, the last of the Big 3 to agree on a new four-year labor contract with the UAW. We expect Ford to get the best deal of all since it has less to offer the UAW than its cross-town rivals.

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