The United Auto Workers union set a strike deadline of Wednesday, Oct. 10, for contract negotiations with Chrysler LLC, sources close to the negotiations told the Associated Press on Monday, Oct. 8.
The union will not necessarily walk off the job if an agreement is not reached, the source told the news agency; negotiations could be extended on an hourly or daily basis. “I think they’re close to an agreement, but they want to move things along,” the source told AP on condition of anonymity. The UAW is expected to announce on Wednesday whether the contract has been ratified by members.
Chrysler officials have been pushing the union to grant them the same health care concessions given to GM and Ford Motor Co. last year in which the automakers saved billions by having workers pay for part of their health insurance, the source told AP. But officials at Chrysler have said the company’s new owner, private equity group Cerberus Capital Management, does not want to pay the cost of transferring the administration of retiree health care to the union.
The union, which recently reached an agreement with GM following a two-day strike, says it will turn its attention to Ford when it concludes its negotiations with Chrysler.