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Chrysler suggests eliminating life insurance, some benefits to cut costs

Execs say the union’s stubbornness “jeopardizes” the future of Chrysler

TORONTO — Chrysler’s leaders say they have put forward several cost-cutting ideas to the Canadian Auto Workers, but the union has so far been opposed to the suggestions.

Chrysler president Tom LaSorda and CEO Bob Nardelli say in a letter to employees that the company could cut its costs to a competitive level by eliminating workers’ life insurance, increasing health-care premiums and cutting specific benefits like child care and legal services.

The company also suggests eliminating out-of-province health-care coverage, reducing benefits for hospitalized workers, increasing prescription drug fees and reducing shift premiums.

Chrysler says it needs to reduce its hourly labour costs by $19 to become competitive with non-unionized plants in Canada.

But the CAW has said it will stick to the pattern established in an earlier agreement with General Motors, which cuts that company’s labour costs by about $7 an hour.

LaSorda and Nardelli say the union’s stubbornness “jeopardizes” the future of Chrysler.

 
 
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