Chrysler LLC began laying off thousands of salaried
workers Wednesday as part of an effort to slash costs in the
company's new era of private ownership, a spokesman said.
The cuts won't end there. Chrysler planned to announce Thursday
that the third shift at the Toledo North plant in Ohio will be
eliminated in the first quarter of 2008, a reduction of 750 jobs,
according to a congressional aide with knowledge of the
The Toledo plant makes the Jeep Liberty and wasn't part of recent
contract talks between the United Auto Workers union and Chrysler
because it has a separate contract.
Chrysler spokesman Mike Aberlich said about one-third of the
company's temporary workers will be laid off in the next few months,
along with other salaried workers. Aberlich didn't disclose the
number of workers that will be affected, but a person briefed on the
plan said 1,000 salaried workers and 1,100 temporary workers _ who
work in engineering, finance, procurement and other areas _ will be
The layoffs of temporary workers began Wednesday and will be
completed by December. Salaried workers will be eligible for early
retirement and separation packages beginning next month, said the
person, who like the congressional aide requested anonymity because
the plan has not yet been announced.
The white-collar cuts come on top of the 13,000 layoffs Chrysler
announced in February as part of a massive restructuring plan. Those
cuts included 11,000 production workers, such as those in Toledo,
and 2,000 salaried employees who also were offered buyouts or early
Chrysler became a private company in August when Germany's
Daimler AG sold 80.1 per cent of Chrysler to the private equity firm
Cerberus Capital Management LP. Chrysler's new chief executive, Bob
Nardelli, has said the automaker is focused on raising cash for its
Nardelli and Chrysler vice-chairman Tom LaSorda didn't elaborate
on the layoffs Wednesday during a trip to Washington to meet with
lawmakers and the Bush administration on energy legislation,
including upgrades to fuel economy regulations.
Nardelli said the final decision on the cuts came Tuesday during
Chrysler's first board meeting as a private company. ``Those are
within the confines of the board and the board's decisions,'' he
said of the layoffs.
Nardelli said the board meeting went well. He refused to say
whether the board approved expected cuts in Chrysler's vehicle
``It's an interesting transition from public to private. I think
that it was a very productive session for all of us,'' Nardelli
Chrysler and other automakers have opposed a U.S. Senate plan
that would increase fuel economy standards 40 per cent to a combined
35 miles per gallon for cars and trucks by 2020. Several automakers
support an alternative that would mandate 32 to 35 mpg by 2022 and
maintain separate requirements for cars and trucks.
``We're all hoping that we're going to have a reasonable
compromise. These folks make trucks and they do a great job so we
want to make sure Chrysler is strong,'' said Senator Debbie
Stabenow, (D-Mich.), who joined Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich.),
George Voinovich (R-Ohio), and Kit Bond (R-Mo.), in a Chrysler
Nardelli said he was ``down making some new friends and visiting
some old'' while discussing a broad range of issues affecting
``It's important, I think, for me to listen and learn and try to
come up the learning curve right now,'' he said.