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Chrysler’s new hires to get new pay rates

by Bill Cawthon on

The 1,080 workers Chrysler plans to add to the workforce at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant will be making far less money than their predecessors. Since the company does not have any laid-off union employees to recall, the workers will all be new hires and will be compensated based on the wage structure the United Auto Workers Union accepted in the most recent wage contract. This means the new Chrysler employees will earn $14 to $16 per hour and receive a much smaller benefits package.

Even so, Chrysler already has so many applications on hand it will not be accepting any new ones. The additional employees will be working a new second shift that begins July 19.

The news of the planned hiring comes with the announcement that dealer orders for the new Jeep Grand Cherokee are running about a third higher than expected making a second shift necessary.

in 2009, Cerberus-owned Chrysler LLC sold 50,328 Grand Cherokees, an 85.3% plunge from 1999 when DaimlerChrysler moved 343,536 Grand Cherokees. So far this year, as part of Fiat-controlled Chrysler Group LLC, Grand Cherokee sales are 20.7% ahead of the first four months of 2009.

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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