Chrysler and UAW reach tentative agreement on new contract

Maybe it was the Detroit Tigers decisive win in game three of the American League Championship Series, but something put the United Auto Workers and Chrysler negotiators in the mood to compromise last night. The Detroit News is reporting that the union announced a deal just before 7:00 AM today.

Chrysler is the last of Detroit's traditional "Big Three" automakers to come to terms with the UAW, as negotiations had been rockier than those with the other car companies. Last month Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne accused UAW President Bob King of playing favorites with General Motors, and putting his own political agenda ahead of the interests of union members. The UAW then skipped past Chrysler to negotiate with Ford, reaching an agreement last week.

What effect this gamesmanship had on the contract remains to be seen, however, The Detroit News says that the agreement with Chrysler is expected to resemble those reached with GM and Ford. Those contracts call for replacing wage increases with a revamped profit-sharing system. But the Chrysler deal might have some substantial differences due to Chrysler's weaker financial health, says the report.

Chrysler has 26,000 hourly employees in the U.S., but that number should go up under the new deal. The UAW says the agreement would add 2,100 new jobs by the end of 2015. Other sources told the newspaper that new workers are likely to be paid more, as well, with one of the key provisions of the contract being a raise for second-tier employees, to $19.28 an hour.
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Chrysler Group LLC and the UAW Reach a Tentative Agreement

October 12, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC and the UAW have reached a tentative agreement on a new national labor contract, covering approximately 26,000 represented employees. The agreement is subject to UAW member ratification. At this time, we cannot discuss the specifics of the agreement pending a ratification vote - an internal UAW process.

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