With Chrysler deep in talks on a new contact with the UAW—the clock is ticking on a strike deadline tomorrow morning—sources tell the Detroit Free Press that cuts to non-union employees are in the works. Loss of about 1,600 salaried and contract jobs is expected, on top of the 14,000 layoffs over the next 3 years announced as part of a restructuring in February.
The timing is seen by some as a move to push UAW to close the labor deal. "It's all about everyone sharing the pain,'' one analyst told Bloomberg. Unlike GM, privately held Chrysler is seen as very vulnerable to a job action—the company lost $2 billion in the first three months of the year. "It could be the end of the company," said one expert.