WISCREPORT.COM (10/10/07) - Thousands of members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) walked off the job at Chrysler plants across the country today (Wednesday, October 10th).
There was no immediate, official comments from Chrysler nor from the United Auto Workers regarding the walkout. However, there are indications that other union groups may also honor the effort. A spokesperson says Teamster carhual members will not cross or work behind UAW picket lines.
"Until the strike ends, our 10,000 carhaul members will be out there honoring the picket lines by not crossing or working behind the lines," said Fred Zuckerman, Director of the Teamsters Carhaul Division.
"We support the UAW in winning a fair and decent contract," General President Jim Hoffa said. "Our members will do what they can so that the UAW is successful."
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million workers in North America and nearly 10,000 drivers in the automobile transport industry.
At 12:19PM Central Time, October 10, 2007, Chrysler noted:
"Media reports indicate that a UAW strike began at 11 a.m. Eastern time at some Chrysler LLC facilities. At this time, no official statement from the UAW has been issued. The company will wait for an official UAW statement before issuing a response."
Autoworkers at 23 Chrysler plants were reportedly taking part in the walkout.
The UAW went on a two day strike against General Motors recently to get GM's attention in the negotiations process at that automaker. GM and UAW now have a tentative contract that has been going through the union member ratification process. Now, the spotlight has turned toward UAW negotiation efforts at Chrysler.
The UAW is trying to reach new four year contracts with all of the big three domestic car companies. They have reached a tentative agreement with only GM and are still to reach agreement with Chrysler and Ford.
There are 850 employees at a Chrysler engine plant at Kenosha, Wisconsin, some of which are members of a UAW local union group. The Wisconsin engine plant is one of five in the USA.
Chrysler notes that there are about 41,000 hourly UAW workers in Chrysler facilities, plus another 4,000 salaried UAW members. The hourly rate is presently around 26 to 28 dollars per hour, according to figures provided by Chrysler.
There are ten Chrysler assembly plants in the United States, and four in Canada and Mexico. Another 16 plants in the U.S. are busy transmission, casting, machining, stamping, tool and die, and technical centers. Chrysler also has seven manufacturing centers outside of the United States.