Sunday, April 26, 2009

BREAKING Report : Chrysler and Fiat Reach an Agreement with Canadian Auto Workers

The Chrysler-Fiat partnership have now reached a tentative agreement on new concessions that will end up saving the Auburn Hills automaker $240 million annually. Canadian Auto Workers (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.

After going through what CAW leader Ken Lewenza called "the most torturous and unfair process imaginable," the union and representatives from Chrysler and Fiat struck a deal that will:

*Retain current CAW wages and pension benefits (for now, at least)
*Have Chrysler/CAW set up a health care trust modeled after the UAW's VEBA fund. CAW's *Lewenza says there's still "work to do" on this and thus no implementation timetable has been set.
*End the third shift at Windsor assembly this August
*Keep all of Chrysler's Canadian plants open

Concessions by the CAW on benefits include:
*Elimination of semi-private hospital room coverage
*Elimination of the employee discount on vehicle purchases
*Elimination of a $3,500 employee vacation buyout option
*Elimination of tuition reimbursement
*Increased prescription costs

Finally, work rule changes agreed to by the CAW include:
*Total time per shift for lunch, bathroom breaks to be set at 40 min
*Chrysler Canada plants to adopt Fiat's "World Class Manufacturing" production process
*Chrysler will be given flexibility to use part-time temp workers when necessary
*Suppliers will be able to work (i.e. build, assemble parts) inside the vehicle assembly plants

So does it hint on Chrysler's survival? Well, if anything goes wrong in Chrysler's world, the workers and builders at the factory, will be protected.

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