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Published: Saturday, 10/8/2011

Chrysler continues 'intense' contract talks with UAW

BLADE NEWS SERVICES

Chrysler Group LLC, seeking a new labor agreement with the United Auto Workers, is in "some pretty intense" talks with the union that should continue over the next three to four days, the automaker's top executive said.

Chrysler, which is based in Auburn Hills, Mich., wants to get a contract with the union without going to arbitration, Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said yesterday.

"The intent here is to try and get to a deal without going to arbitration," he said. "If we cannot resolve the issues we will go there."

Mr. Marchionne hinted the deals reached with General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. may be too costly for the smaller Chrysler, calling those agreements probably "overly generous."

The UAW gave up its right to strike as part of Chrysler's 2009 U.S-backed bankruptcy, with unresolved differences subject to binding arbitration.

Progress is being made at the bargaining table with "key issues" still being discussed, General Holiefield, the UAW vice president who heads the union's Chrysler department, said.

The UAW and Ford reached a four-year tentative agreement Tuesday that followed an earlier accord at GM. The GM deal was approved by UAW members while union-represented workers at Ford have yet to vote.



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