Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pay cuts or downfall: Chrysler

OTTAWA - US AUTOMAKER Chrysler said in a letter to its Canadian employees on Friday they must accept cuts to wages and benefits, or risk losing their jobs as Chrysler would otherwise not survive.

'The clock is running,' Chrysler bosses Bob Nardelli and Tom LaSorda said in the letter. 'Without labour concessions, Chrysler Canada's manufacturing operations will not survive long-term.'

'Thousands of good-paying jobs are in jeopardy, as well as the economic health of communities such as Windsor and Brampton,' they said.

'We are coming down to the wire in the fight for our company's survival - and we need your support.' The unusual plea comes days before the Canadian Auto Workers union is to resume talks on Monday with Chrysler on labour concessions demanded by Ottawa and Washington as part of a government-backed reorganisation.

A tie-up with Fiat is also a condition for Chrysler to qualify for a bailout and to return to profitability.

On Wednesday, Fiat's chief executive Sergio Marchionne pressed the unions to negotiate cuts equivalent to C$19 (S$24) per hour to bring pay in line with Japanese and German auto plants in Canada. -- AFP

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