BREAKING: Chrysler and CAW reach tentative agreement

Chrysler and the Canadian Auto Workers have reached a tentative agreement on new concessions that will end up saving the Auburn Hills automaker $240 million annually. CAW President Ken Lewenza said that in exchange, CAW got Chrysler and Fiat to agree to keep the company’s two assembly plants open even if bankruptcy is unavoidable.

Chrysler has been asking for $19 an hour in labor savings to cut the company’s labor costs in line with those of Toyota. According to Automotive News, Lewenza would not say how the $240 million in concessions translates into hourly savings. It is reported that the CAW gave up break time, bonuses, tuition reimbursement and some supplemental pay.

Ratification votes will be held over the weekend with results to come out Sunday night.

Lewenza said that GM and Ford have also indicated to get the same concessions as those negotiated with Chrysler.

Speaking to the press Lewenza said that threat caused the union to bargain “with a gun at our heads.” Lewenza said: “Remember, we did not cause this problem.”

Click through for Chrysler’s statement.

Press Release:

Chrysler LLC Statement in Response to Reaching a Tentative Agreement with the CAW

Attributed to Tom LaSorda, Vice Chairman and President:

“We are extremely grateful to the CAW leadership and to its hard-working members for their openness in this challenging environment to create a new strategy that will lead this company on a path to success. We also want to recognize the Canadian Federal and Ontario governments for their energy and efforts in helping to move this great Company forward.”

Attributed to Al Iacobelli, Chief Bargainer and Vice President – Employee Relations:

“We deeply appreciate the CAW leadership’s dedication and commitment to the process by reaching this tentative agreement. The negotiation process is never easy, especially in these historically challenging times.

The forthright discussions and final decisions made by the CAW not only benefit the Canadian represented employees, but help to ensure the Company’s future competitiveness. The tentative agreement also helps move the Company one step closer to a partnership with Fiat SpA.

The CAW leadership worked around the clock for its membership to hammer out the details during an extremely complex negotiation. Chrysler management values the hard work of its CAW workforce and appreciates the great lengths the CAW management went to in order to pave the way for the Company’s future in Canada.”

Source: Chrysler and Automotive News

– By: Omar Rana