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Chrysler CEO says 2-class wage structure has to go

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BREE FOWLER | October 28, 2011 11:57 AM EST | AP

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The head of Chrysler says the carmaker's two-class wage system has to go.

CEO Sergio Marchionne says Chrysler needs one wage structure in its next contract with the United Auto Workers. Negotiations for that contract start in 2015.

He says the current system creates two classes of workers. New workers in the bottom tier make about half as much money as longtime UAW members.

Marchionne didn't say how he would come up with one wage. But it's likely he'll try to reduce the pay of top-tier workers. General Motors and Ford could follow and pay could be cut for most of the UAW's 112,000 members.

UAW workers approved a four-year contract with Chrysler on Wednesday. It includes raises for bottom-tier workers.