Michael Conroy, Associated Press
Steve Birwell, a 19-year Chrysler employee, pickets outside the Indiana Transmission Plant in Kokomo, Ind., on Wednesday. Chrysler and the UAW have reached a tentative agreement, ending the strike.

The United Auto Workers union said it reached a tentative agreement with Chrysler LLC, ending a six-hour strike.

Workers at the third-largest U.S. automaker walked off their jobs at 11 a.m. New York time today. In a similar showdown last month, General Motors Corp. workers staged a two-day walkout before agreeing on a four-year contract, which was approved by workers today.

Ron Gettelfinger, 63, the UAW president, had sought a Chrysler contract patterned after the GM accord, including job guarantees in exchange for a union-run retiree health-care trust. He bargained for the first time with Chrysler's new owner, Cerberus Capital Management LP, a New York buyout firm.

"Teamwork in the leadership and solidarity in the ranks has produced an agreement that protects jobs for our communities and also protects wages, pensions and health care for our active and retired members," UAW Vice President General Holifield said in an e-mailed statement.

Details of the accord are being withheld pending ratification votes by Chrysler workers, the union said.

The contract is "consistent" with the UAW's pattern contract established at GM and includes a new trust fund for retiree health care, Chrysler Co-President Tom LaSorda said in a statement.

The agreement "balances the needs of our employees and company by providing a framework to improve our long-term manufacturing competitiveness," he said.

GM's walkout ended with a historic agreement that will allow GM to shed $50 billion of future health-care obligations in exchange for job-security pledges. Chrysler wrangled with the union over the same issues.

The strike was the union's first against Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Chrysler in a decade. The union represents more than 45,000 hourly workers at the company.

The Chrysler talks marked the union's first negotiations with an automaker owned by a private-equity firm.