Tentative Chrysler Contract Means 2,100 New Jobs

DETROIT ( TheStreet) -- Chrysler and the United Auto Workers reached a tentative four-year contract agreement. Chrysler is the last of the Detroit Three to announce a tentative deal. All three deals add jobs.

The Chrysler deal came despite a few contentious statements from Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, who last month wrote an angry letter to UAW President Bob King noting that King failed to show up after Marchionne flew to Detroit from Frankfurt for face-to-face talks. At the time, King was negotiating with GM ( GM).
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne

That conflict seemed to be forgotten early Wednesday as the UAW announced the tentative agreement, which it said would add 2,100 new jobs enabled by $4.5 billion in investment in retooling and plant upgrades.

"Less than three years ago, Chrysler was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy as our nation was thrown into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression," said King, in a prepared statement. "This tentative agreement builds on the momentum of job creation and our efforts to rebuild America."

King said the Chrysler deal, "coupled with the new agreements at General Motors and Ford ( F) will bring more than 20,000 new jobs to communities across America."

The three contracts combined should lead to a total of 180,000 jobs at suppliers and other related businesses, he said, reinforcing the concept that the auto industry can help to grow the U.S. economy despite the lack of growth in other sectors.

The UAW represents 26,000 Chrysler workers, including 3,000 salaried employees, at 48 Chrysler facilities in the United States.

The union reached a tentative agreement with GM on Sept. 16 and with Ford on Oct 4. The GM agreement was ratified on Sept. 28. Voting at Ford will be completed by Oct. 18.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

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