Latest Automotive News

Subscribe in a reader

Fate of new Chrysler contract in question as UAW voting continues

Email   small font medium font large font


The fate of the tentative contract agreement between the United Auto Workers and Chrysler LLC remained in question Tuesday, with a union local in Detroit saying it approved the deal and officials awaiting vote tallies from four factories in Kokomo, Ind.

Six local unions representing more than 11,000 workers have turned down the landmark pact, while five locals representing about 8,200 workers have said ``yes.'' It's nearly impossible to keep a running total because most local union officials give out only percentages and not the number of people who voted.

Yet with large chunk of the 45,000 workers covered by the contract still voting, UAW leaders in Detroit have started a heavy lobbying campaign for passage. Four more large locals in suburban Detroit are scheduled to vote on Wednesday.

Counts by the international union show the deal passing with just over 50 per cent of the vote, according to a person who has been briefed on the vote count. The person did not want to be identified because the count has not been made public.

But a dissident, Shawn Fain, a worker at a Kokomo casting plant, said so many large locals have voted against the deal that it cannot be passing.

``I don't believe for a second that they can have the votes that close,'' he said.

On Monday, Local 51 representing 1,200 workers at two engine plants in Detroit voted 76 per cent in favour, said Lorenzo Poole III, local president.

Poole said he told his members that they should trust UAW international officials who got the best deal they could from the company. The deal was reached Oct. 10 after a six-hour strike.

``If we go back out on strike, who knows how long we'd be out there?'' said Poole, who believes dissidents are spreading misinformation about the pact.

``I think a lot of the people that are voting no are just misled or uninformed,'' he said.

UAW workers haven't rejected a national contract since Chrysler employees did in 1982, said Mike Smith, director of the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University.

Opponents mainly object to a lower-tier wage scale for many new hires of around $14 per hour and new vehicle guarantees for factories that mainly run for the life of the contract but are less than General Motors Corp. guaranteed workers in its contract settlement.

If the contract is voted down, the UAW could return to the bargaining table or call for a revote.

``It's going to be close. They're going to work very hard here at the end to pull this together,'' David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, said Monday.

Chrysler sells most of its vehicles in North America and has little global presence. Its new owner, private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, needs a partner to give it the global economy of scale that its main competitor, GM, already is using, Cole said.

Without a competitive wage agreement, no partner will join Chrysler, and that could make Cerberus look for other options to get a return on its investment, such as selling off the company in pieces.

``I don't think the membership at Chrysler really quite understands the gravity of the situation,'' Cole said.

Chrysler, he said, is likely to cut models, so it can't guarantee next-generation products for individual plants like GM did, he said.

Receive the latest automotive news by email!

Enter your email address:

Related news
The tentative deal between the United Auto Workers and Chrysler LLC was hailed as a historic step forward for the company just a couple of weeks ago. Many rank-and-file members, however, have rejected ...
Chrysler workers at two of four key United Auto Workers union locals voting Wednesday approved a new contract with the company, the presidents of the locals said. Local 140 President Melvin Thompson said ...
Workers at three more United Auto Workers local unions have rejected a tentative contract agreement between the national union and Chrysler LLC, casting doubt on whether the deal will be ratified. Members at locals ...
The fate of a tentative labour agreement at Chrysler LLC remained uncertain Sunday after two large United Auto Workers locals representing about 4,500 of the union's 45,000 members at the automaker split over ...
Local union leaders voted overwhelmingly Monday to recommend approval of a tentative four-year agreement between the United Auto Workers and Chrysler LLC, paving the way for a vote by members, UAW president Ron ...
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 ...
The head of the Canadian Auto Workers was not surprised members of the United Auto Workers voted Saturday to approve a new four-year contract agreement with Chrysler LLC, but Buzz Hargrove voiced disappointment ...
Chrysler LLC chief executive Bob Nardelli said Monday he is pleased with a money-saving labour contract that was approved by workers over the weekend and is looking to raise more cash by selling ...

Best Investment Newsletter

- 46% in 2008

- invest in the best performing US stocks only and sell them when the uptrend is over

- very easy to follow, simple buy/sell signals

- no need to have investing or trading experience

Find More Now!

Fate of new Chrysler contract in question as UAW voting continues
> © 2006-2017 except where otherwise noted