Chrysler's UAW Labor Deal Approved By Production Workers: Report

10/26/2011 04:32 pm ET | Updated Dec 26, 2011

DETROIT - Production workers at Chrysler Group LLC voted in favor of a tentative labor contract, but in a rare twist, skilled-trades workers rejected the 4-year deal, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Production workers make up the vast majority of Chrysler's the 26,000 workers represented by the United Auto Workers union, and the union's bylaws require a simple majority of the rank and file to ratify a contract.

But the split vote between skilled-trade and production workers on a national contract is highly unusual, labor experts said. UAW officials held a call this afternoon to discuss its options, one person familiar with the matter said.

"They have not done this on a national vote, not that I'm aware of," said Art Schwartz, a former GM labor negotiator and president of Labor and Economics Associates. "They are in foreign territory."

The UAW's local leaders decided to recommend a ratification of the full contract during the call, the Detroit Free Press reported, citing two people familiar with the vote.

The newspaper previously reported the split vote.

The people asked not to be named because the details are private. The UAW could not be immediately reached for comment and Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson declined to comment.

(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman and Bernie Woodall; Editing by Richard Chang)
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