Last week, Chrysler Chairman and CEO Bob Nardelli wrote a letter to the Canadian Auto Workers union, warning that further concessions would have to be made by union workers if the company is to survive. This week, the CAW has fired back claiming that Chrysler numbers are inflated and it has made plenty of concessions already.
Nardelli said that Chrysler Canadian workers needed to bring their hourly labor cost down $19, from $76 per hour down to a Toyota-matching $57 per hour. In its scathing letter, the CAW says the number is unjustly inflated.
"We do not accept Chrysler's claim that the work of the CAW members costs $76 per hour," the letter says. "This is an inflated and artificial figure that includes many non-relevant factors, such as expenses associated with retirees who have not worked at Chrysler for years, and payroll taxes which are paid to government not to workers."
The CAW was particularly irked that the numbers include paid time off. "Perhaps most galling of all, Chrysler's number even includes the proportional cost of downtime and lay-offs. In essence, we are being 'charged' for our own unemployment."
In his own letter, Nardelli says the CAW has rejected several concessions, such as eliminating the cap on drug dispensing fees, eliminating life insurance for current and future employees, increasing health care premiums and eliminating out-of-province health care coverage. Nardelli does not want to reduce base wages or pensions.
The letter can be read in its entirety at the CAW's website.
Source: The CAW