Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 4:25 AM
Workers at the Chrysler Stamping Plant in Twinsburg will vote on a contract with enough concessions to help the company meet demands set by the Obama administration. ideastream's Bill Rice/Mhari Saito reports.
The Obama administration’s automotive task force has given Chrysler until Thursday to merge with Italian automaker Fiat, hammer out debt-reduction deals with lenders, and get a new contract from autoworkers. Chrysler faces bankruptcy if it cannot meet those conditions and become eligible for another $6B billion in government loans. UAW leaders unanimously agreed to contract changes on Monday, now it’s the workers turn. In northeast Ohio, 1000 or so workers will begin voting today (wednesday) on whether to ratidy the contract. Doug Rice is head of UAW Local 122.
Doug Rice: “This is nothing easy, were’ angry, we’re not happy with what’s been going on. But unfortunately, we do understand, that we are in the midst of an economic storm, we’re going to have to make further adjustments.”
Rice says workers are anxious about the future of the Twinsburg plant, and whether it will remain a viable part of Chrysler.
The proposed contract would give the UAW a 55 percent share of stock in Chrysler. In exchange, the carmaker will cut the amount it owes the UAW retirees health care fund. Fiat and creditors would own the remaining shares of stock. Bill Rice, 90.3.
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