Auto workers cut a new agreement with Chrysler today that brought the automaker closer to a partnership deal with Fiat, the Wall Street Journal reports. Agreeing to lower health care benefits for retirees, United Auto Workers called the "concessionary agreement" painful but said it met President Obama's rigorous standards. The terms must now be put to UAW members.
The parties have not released any details, but Chrysler likely won a 50% cut in the amount it owes a $10 billion UAW retiree health care fund established 2 years ago. Chrysler may have also secured lower labor costs amounting to hundreds of dollars per car. The deal returns the spotlight to Chrysler's lenders, who hold $7 billion in company debt and have exchanged counteroffers with the Treasury in recent days.