DETROIT - The United Auto Workers union reached a tentative four-year contract with Chrysler yesterday, hours after going out on strike and on the same day General Motors workers ratified a separate four-year pact.
Next up: Ford.
UAW president Ron Gettelfinger said the strike against Chrysler LLC, 80.1 percent owned by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, would end immediately and workers should report for their next shift.
A person with knowledge of the Chrysler agreement said it includes some guarantees that vehicles will be produced at US factories, a company-funded union-run trust that will pay much of Chrysler's $18 billion in long-term retiree healthcare costs, and a lower wage scale for some newly hired workers.
The person, who requested anonymity because the contract has not been ratified by union members, said the level of funding for the trust was acceptable, but the new vehicle guarantees are not as extensive as those given by General Motors Corp.
The lower wage scale is similar to the one negotiated by GM, the person said.
"This agreement was made possible because UAW workers made it clear to Chrysler that we needed an agreement that rewards the contributions they have made to the success of this company," Gettelfinger said in a statement.
"The national agreement is consistent with the economic pattern and balances the needs of our employees and company by providing a framework to improve our long-term manufacturing competitiveness," Chrysler vice chairman and president Tom LaSorda said in a statement.
The UAW said its historic contract with GM, which also includes a retiree healthcare trust, was approved by 66 percent of production workers and 64 percent of skilled trades workers.
The deal, reached Sept. 26 after a two-day nationwide strike, establishes lower pay for some workers and makes promises for future work at US plants.
A majority of Chrysler workers will have to ratify the tentative agreement.