UAW goes on strike at Chrysler; some plants excluded

Real bright move, Chrysler has a lot of excess inventory to get rid of.
UAW goes on strike at Chrysler; some plants excluded
The United Auto Workers launched a widespread strike against Chrysler LLC this morning after all-night negotiations failed to produce a tentative agreement on a new labor contract.
Thousands of UAW members took to the picket lines at Chrysler plants across the U.S. in the second walkout against one of Detroit's Big Three during this year's contract talks.
Chrysler officials were aware that UAW workers were leaving plants but would not officially confirm any labor disruption. Representatives for the UAW could not be immediately reached for comment.
People close to the situation said that at least four Chrysler assembly plants were not included in the strike -- the Jefferson North and Connor Avenue factories in Detroit and plants in Belvidere, Ill., and Newark, Del.
The Jefferson North, Newark and Belvidere plants were among five Chrysler assembly plants that had been temporarily shut down this week to reduce inventories of slow-selling vehicles. Workers at Chrysler's Warren truck plant, which also is idled this week, said that plant was excluded from the strike as well, but workers were walking the picket line to show their support.
Bargainers for Chrysler and the UAW worked through the night in a marathon session at company headquarters in Auburn Hills, but were unable to agree on critical issues of job security and health-care funding.
"Obviously Chrysler feels they need a contract more customized to their situation versus GM's," said Michael Robinet, vice president at Northville-based consulting firm CSM Worldwide.
On Monday, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger informed UAW locals to be prepared for a strike if the "basis for a tentative agreement" was not in place by 11 a.m. today.
The Chrysler walkout follows a two-day strike at General Motors Corp. that ended Sept. 26 when the UAW and GM reached agreement on a new four-year contract. GM workers were expected to complete ratification votes on the deal today.
The UAW chose Chrysler on Oct. 5 as the next of the Big Three to negotiate a labor deal considered crucial to the competitiveness of domestic automakers versus their foreign competitors.
While GM and the UAW hammered out a contract that created a health-care trust for retirees and guaranteed jobs for active workers, Chrysler and the union have thus far failed to come to terms.
People close to the talks said Gettelfinger and Chrysler President Tom LaSorda led the negotiations Tuesday and today, but a deal was not in place by the 11 a.m. deadline.
The negotiations are the first for Chrysler as a privately-owned corporation. Chrysler was acquired for $7.4 billion in August by private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP after spending the past nine years as a division of German automaker DaimlerChrysler AG, since renamed Daimler AG.
During the GM strike, negotiators for the UAW and the company returned to the bargaining table within hours of the start of the walkout.
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