Through The Fly's Eyes: Chrysler & UAW
from Joseph Lazzaro of Theflyonthewall.com
Chrysler / UAW: As Expected, A Short Strike
Just call it the 6-hour strike. Or the strike that 'really wasn't that much of a strike.'
The United Automobile Workers announced Wednesday that they had reached a tentative contract agreement with privately-held Chrysler, about six hours after workers walked off the job at Chrysler plants nationwide when the two sides failed to reach a deal by a union-set deadline.
Contract details were not immediately available, but analysts believe the new pact will mirror a new contract at General Motors (GM), which was reached on Sept. 26 after a two-day union strike. Chrysler officials said the agreement contained a clause to start a health care trust, similar to one at GM, which would assume Chrysler's $18 billion liability for medical benefits for current and retired workers and their families. Chrysler's shares are privately-held. On Wednesday, GM closed down 20 cents to $38.13; Ford (F) closed down 9 cents to $8.23.
The agreement was announced by the union's president, Ron Gettelfinger, in a statement. The union told workers to report for their jobs on their next shift, which for most will be Thursday morning. Chrysler has about 45,000 workers in the United States.
Fly Analysis: The pact is consistent with the postmodern tenor of U.S. corporate - labor relations, particularly as it relates to the industrial sector. Namely, that globalization trends are compelling cost cutting, increased efficiency, and lower per-person labor rates to enable U.S. companies to compete with lower-cost foreign competitors. The new Chrysler / UAW pact gives the company an adequate chance to return to world-class competitive status, provided the company can also follow through with the launch of innovative, high-quality vehicles that meet consumers' needs and preferences.