UAW, Chrysler extend contract

Sept. 21, 2011 at 11:40 PM

DETROIT, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- The United Auto Workers said Wednesday it has agreed to a contract extension with Chrysler Group LLC, based in Dearborn, Mich.

After announcing the old contract would be extended through Oct. 19, the union said it would focus on talks with Ford Motor Co., the Detroit Free Press reported. The union had already announced tentative agreement on a new contract with General Motors Co.

UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles told union members in an online message he is eager wrap up bargaining with Ford, the Free Press reported.

"I have just concluded a meeting with President Bob King, and I am proud to announce that we have been chosen as the next department to begin the final stages of negotiations, and not Chrysler as previously speculated," Settles said.

The extension at Chrysler is the second time the union and the company have extended the four-year contract that expired last week. Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne, in a letter to UAW President Bob King last week, had said he would agree to extend the old contract for one week, despite a breakdown in talks between the company and the union.

Marchionne and King have since said their relationship remains intact, the Free Press reported.

The 2007 contract that expired Sept. 14 covered about 72,000 GM and Chrysler workers. The UAW had previously agreed to extend the deadline for a contract covering about 40,6000 workers at Ford.

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