Chrysler UAW contract decided within hours image

Chrysler employees are casting their final ballots on the UAW agreement. The voting period ends Tuesday at the Warren Truck Plant.

Chrysler is the last of the Detroit Three to reach a settlement on a new, four-year contract. This is following two very strong agreements with General Motors and with Ford that had more cash and fewer contingencies.

Workers at key plants in Sterling Heights, Mich., Dundee, Mich. and Toledo, Ohio have all passed the tentative contract within the last day on percentages that range from 53 to 80 percent. Voting has not yet concluded at Chrysler’s truck plant in Warren, which is considered a bellwether.

Entry-level workers, who receive about 1$14 an hour now, would get a raise of about $4 an hour, phased in over the four years of the contract.

The Chrysler contract has widely expected to be the most difficult to pass of the three, because workers were offered signing bonuses of only $1,750 up front, with another $1,750 due later if the company met certain financial targets. By comparison, Ford workers received a $6,000 signing bonus and General Motors employees received a $5,000 bonus.

If the contract is rejected, it goes to binding arbitration, because of an agreement the union made with Chrysler during the company’s bankruptcy.