The United Auto Workers union reached a tentative
four-year contract agreement with Chrysler LLC on Wednesday after a
brief strike that sent thousands of workers to the picket lines.
Details of the agreement weren't immediately available.
But UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said Wednesday afternoon, just
hours after the strike began, that workers should report for their
next available shift.
``This agreement was made possible because UAW workers made it
clear to Chrysler that we needed an agreement that rewards the
contributions they have made to the success of this company,''
Gettelfinger said in a statement.
UAW members at 19 of 24 U.S. Chrysler factories and several other
facilities left their jobs for the picket lines at 11 a.m.
Among the major issues in the Chrysler talks were funding for a
union-run trust that would handle future retiree health care bills;
contracting out parts-trucking jobs; promises that future products
will be built at U.S. factories; and parity with health care
concessions that were given to Ford Motor Co. and General Motors
Corp. two years ago.
The UAW also announced Wednesday that its members have ratified
a four-year agreement with General Motors. The two sides reached the
deal on Sept. 26 after a two-day strike.
Ford will be the final automaker to bargain with the UAW.
A strike by Chrysler workers in the United States, if it were
prolonged, threatened to entangle two of the automaker's assembly
plants in Canada.
Chrysler Canada spokesman Ed Saenz said Wednesday that a lack of
U.S.-sourced parts would likely hit the 5,000-worker minivan plant
in Windsor, Ont., within 24 hours and the 4,000-employee sedan plant
in Brampton, Ont., within 48 hours if the UAW strike continued.
It was not immediately clear what, if any, impact the brief
disruption on Wednesday would have on Chrysler Canada and its
However, Canadian industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers said before
the tentative agreement was announced that the UAW deal could have a
long-term impact on Chrysler's autoparts suppliers if they follow a
pattern set at General Motors.
``The GM agreement sets the stage for considerable parts
in-sourcing. We had been in, for the last two decades, out-sourcing
of components,'' DesRosiers said.
He added ``there's a lot of speculation that suppliers could see
a fairly serious long-term negative from these contracts.''