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Chrysler and UAW Step Up Contract Talks

From Reuters

Negotiations between Chrysler Corp. and the United Auto Workers union continued in small groups Tuesday against a midnight Thursday deadline. Both sides were optimistic that a strike can be averted.

Chrysler spokesman Lee Sechler said bargainers for the auto maker and the union resumed their talks early Tuesday. Some 54,000 U.S. Chrysler workers are covered.

Sechler said negotiations are continuing in subcommittees, small groups that concentrate on single issues, such as health and safety, job training and wages, that are then tied together in the final hours of negotiations.

Bargainers were working on an agreement modeled after a tentative pact the UAW signed with No. 2 auto maker Ford Motor Co. on Sept. 15.

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That contract calls for slightly higher wages, increased pension benefits and fully paid medical benefits.

On Monday, the UAW set the midnight Thursday deadline to speed up the contract talks with Chrysler, ahead of what many labor experts say will be contentious negotiations with General Motors Corp. A UAW spokesman said the talks with Chrysler were “still on track.” Chrysler, which has been running many of its plants on overtime to keep up with demand for its hot-selling cars, minivans and Jeeps, averted a strike by 10,500 workers in Canada earlier this month when it reached agreement with the Canadian Auto Workers Union.


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