After brief strike, UAW reaches deal with Chrysler

The United Auto Workers union reached a tentative four-year contract with Chrysler yesterday, hours after going out on strike and the same day General Motors workers ratified a separate four-year pact.

Next up: Ford.

UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said the strike against Chrysler LLC would end immediately and workers should report for their next available shift.

“This agreement was made possible because UAW workers made it clear to Chrysler that we needed an agreement that rewards the contributions they have made to the success of this company,” Gettelfinger said in a statement.

Gettelfinger wouldn’t release any details of the contract, but Chrysler said the tentative agreement includes the establishment of a UAW-managed trust that will administer retiree health care. The newly private company didn’t say how much money it will contribute to the trust.

UAW, GM reach 4-year deal

The United Auto Workers union said yesterday it has ratified a historic four-year contract with General Motors Corp.

Sixty-six percent of production workers voted in favor of the deal, while 64 percent of skilled trades workers approved it, the UAW said in a statement. The union typically does not release vote totals.

The deal, reached Sept. 26 after a two-day nationwide strike, establishes lower pay for some workers and puts GM’s massive retiree health care debt into a UAW-run trust in exchange for promises of future work at U.S. plants.

The pact covers more than 74,000 active workers and about 340,000 retirees and surviving spouses. The deal will expire on Sept. 14, 2011, the union said.

Under the contract, GM would put its retiree health care obligations into a trust to be managed by the UAW. The trust is known as a voluntary employees beneficiary association, or VEBA.


State Dept. may stop using security firms

The State Department may phase out or limit the use of private security guards in Iraq, which could mean canceling Blackwater USA’s contract or awarding it to another company in line with an Iraqi government demand, The Associated Press has learned.

Such steps would be difficult given U.S. reliance on Blackwater and other contractors, but they are among options being studied during a comprehensive review of security in Iraq, two senior officials said.

The review was ordered after a Sept. 16 incident in which Blackwater guards protecting a U.S. Embassy convoy in Baghdad are accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians.


Former Iran official comes out against nuclear policy

Iran’s former chief nuclear negotiator delivered an unusually sharp rebuke to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s policies yesterday, saying they are turning more nations against Iran and failing to fix the struggling economy.

The comments by Hasan Rowhani were the harshest yet against the hard-line president by a prominent figure in the Iranian leadership, and came after critics had grown muted in recent month as the government stirred up fears of conflict with the U.S. and warned against dissent.

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

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