AMC, UAW Reach Contract Agreement
KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) _ Workers at American Motors Corp. are to vote later this week on a contract offer the automaker sought in hopes of putting together a deal with Chrysler Corp.
″We’ve taken care of our end,″ Alex McCloskey, AMC’s industrial relations counsel and the company’s chief negotiator, said Tuesday.
McCloskey said now Chrysler and AMC officials must work out a deal for Chrysler to begin production of luxury cars early next year at the AMC plant here. Chrysler, which has said it would need an agreement by the end of the month, is converting its St. Louis plant, where its large M-body cars are now assembled, to mini-van production.
Rudy Kuzel, president of Local 72 of the United Auto Workers Union, praised the agreement and predicted it would be overwhelmingly ratified.
The agreement, reached late Tuesday afternoon after nearly 30 hours of continuous bargaining, calls for 32 production and 14 skilled job classifications. AMC officials said they needed the reductions from about 160 job classifications to make the Kenosha plant more productive and attractive to Chrysler production.
Kuzel said skilled trades people will meet Thursday to consider ratification of the contract and production people or nonskilled trades workers will meet Friday.
UAW Region 10 Director Robert Vicars said the pact will ″let AMC go to Chrysler with a plan that would bring in 3,000 jobs to the city of Kenosha.″
The move could bring about 2,900 jobs to the plant where thousands of AMC workers are on layoff. The company manufactures Renault Alliances and Encores at the plant. Chrysler production at the plant could last two years.
Gov. Anthony Earl has indicated that if an agreement is reached with Chrysler he would call a special session of the Legislature to consider a bill authorizing the appropriation of $2 million or more in training funds for the Kenosha workers.