Rocky Road for Chrysler Deal

3 UAW locals vote down offer that would 'lower our standard of living'
By Emily Roysdon,  Newser User
Posted Oct 20, 2007 4:44 PM CDT
Jerry Dennison, President of UAW Local 136, whose members work at Chrysler LLC's North Assembly Plant in Fenton, posts the results of the contract ratification vote Thursday, Oct. 18, 2007, in Fenton,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Three UAW locals voted against the new Chrysler deal yesterday, stirring fears that the agreement may be scuttled. Two plants voted against it by 53%, and a third, in Missouri, by 66% among skilled trades and 79% among assembly line workers. They slammed a proposed 2-level pay structure and new job categories that would mean lower wages, the New York Times reports.

If needed, Chrysler could sweeten the deal for some plants before voting ends next week. Or the UAW could nix the vote and try to strike a deal with Ford instead. Either way, “It looks like for the first time in a huge number of years, there’s a real possibility of rejection,” said an ex-union official. Anger runs deep for some workers: “We will not sit back and continue to lower our standard of living,” one wrote.