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Chrysler, UAW ratify labour deal

New contract will create 2,100 jobs and plant upgrades of $4.5 billion


October 13, 2011
by The Canadian Press

DETROIT—Chrysler Group LLC and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union have agreed on four year contract that creates 2,100 new jobs and promises $4.5 billion in plant investments.

Although the deal is less generous than those given to General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co., it includes a $3,500 signing bonus and $1,000 in annual bonuses.

Most Chrysler workers won’t get yearly raises, but could receive profit-sharing checks if the company makes money. The agreement also raises entry-level wages to $19.28 per hour by 2015.

Chrysler’s 26,000 workers must ratify the agreement.

This is the first contract since Chrysler’s government bailout and trip to bankruptcy court two years ago. It is also the first since the company was taken over by Italian automaker Fiat SpA.

Contract negotiations are closely watched because they set the pay and benefits for 112,000 factory workers at the Detroit Three as well as for thousands of employees at auto suppliers and at the non-unionized plants of foreign automakers such as Toyota Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG.

GM workers ratified their labour agreement last month. Ford workers are still voting.

Workers at GM are getting $5,000 bonuses. Ford workers stand to earn $6,000 bonuses if they ratify their agreement. The less generous deal at Chrysler is partly because the company isn’t as healthy as its rivals.

While GM and Ford both made billions of dollars last year, Chrysler lost money.