Chrysler Deal Completely Ratified

by : Glady Reign

The United American Workers union reported that the contract with Chrysler LLC had been finally ratified by their group.

"We are pleased that our UAW employees recognize that the new agreement meets the needs of the company and its employees by providing a framework to improve our long-term manufacturing competitiveness,'' Tom LaSorda, Chrysler's vice chairman and president, said in a statement released after the union announced the contract had been approved.

To finish the Detroit three, the union must also negotiate with Ford Motor Co. (its Volvo division makes top of the line ) and the union expects that their negotiations with Ford begin this week.

As recorded by the union, 56 percent of their production workers and 51 percent of the skilled workers voted for the tentative agreement's approval. Support had also been given by the 94 percent of the clerical workers and 19 percent of the workers at Chrysler's engineering department.

"Our members had to face some tough choices, and we had a solid, democratic debate about this contract," UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said. "Now we're going to come together as a union - and now it's on the company to move ahead, increase their market share and continue to build great cars and trucks here in the U.S."

Before it reached complete approval, the contract met many objections regarding its provisions for the union. Many UAW members are not satisfied with the second-tier wage for the new employees rating to $14 per hour or half the regular employee earns. According to contract dissidents, this low wage is a step towards a continuing depreciation of labor cost in the United States.

After rejections made by workers in two Chrysler plants in St. Louis, Mo., the UAW chief, Ron Gettelfinger and his national council exerted more efforts for the contract campaign. The rebuffing made by the two assembly plants was due to limited commitments made by Chrysler to its plants as a response to Job security issues.

"There's no question this was a difficult set of negotiations during difficult times for the U.S. auto industry," said UAW Vice President General Holifield, who heads the union's Chrysler Department. "But with the support of our membership and local leadership, we have an agreement that secures jobs and wages and protects healthcare and pension benefits," Holifield said.

The contract was made last October 10 after a brief strike launched by the union against now Cerberus owned Chrysler LLC. It was the same day the UAW completely ratified their deal with the biggest target, General Motors.