The United Auto Workers say they reached their goal in their tentative three-year agreement with Chrysler Corp. of a pattern settlement to the ones reached with the other two Big Three automakers.
UAW President Owen Bieber hailed the settlement reached Tuesday, which covers 67,000 U.S. hourly and salaried workers, that followed a 28-hour bargaining session and a meeting between the union head and Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca."It's a pattern settlement in all respects," Bieber said referring to agreements reached earlier at General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co.
"We always look for a silver lining . . . we found that silver lining today," Bieber said smiling broadly.
He said the issue of job security was "the major stumbling block" and added that "there were times when it looked bleak."
The union has scheduled a meeting of its 100-member Chrysler Bargaining Council for Monday in Detroit. The council must approve any agreement before workers vote on it.
But while both the union and carmaker declined to disclose many details of the agreement, Chrysler's chief negotiator Anthony P. St. John said there are "elements" that are "particularly helpful to Chrysler in terms of its future competitiveness."
Also apparently resolved was a pension issue that allows workers to retire after 30 years of service before they reach age 60 - something the UAW had been fighting to preserve and which was seen as a sticking point in the talks.
Chrysler UAW-represented employees who had been working since Sept. 15 under an extension of a contract negotiated in 1988. That contract was canceled by the union at midnight Monday.