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UAW reaches agreement with Chrysler, Feds, Fiat

by Bill Cawthon on

The United Auto Workers union today announced it had reached an agreement with Chrysler, Fiat and the U.S. Treasury that will reduce Chrysler’s obligations to the union’s retiree healthcare program.

The deal marks another hurdle Chrysler has cleared in its efforts to avoid filing for bankruptcy and clear the way for an alliance with the Italian automaker.

In a statement UAW President Ron Gettelfinger thanked union members for their willingness to sacrifice.

“We recognize this has been a long ordeal for active and retired auto workers, and a time of great uncertainty. The patience, resolve and determination of UAW members in these difficult times is extraordinary, and has made it possible for us to reach the agreement.”

The UAW agreement must be ratified by Wednesday.

The members of the Canadian Auto Workers union ratified their new agreement with Chrysler with 87 percent voting in favor.

This leaves Chrysler’s secured creditors as the only remaining obstacle to the company successfully meeting the requirements set the the Obama Administration’s auto task force and qualifying for billions of dollars in additional government loan assistance.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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