By Jeff Gilbert

DETROIT (WWJ) – An update on the state of contract talks between the UAW and Chrysler. The union, in a statement, says the talks are continuing.

WWJ’s Auto Beat reporter Jeff Gilbert says despite earlier reports to the contrary — contract talks are on between Chrysler and the United Auto Workers. Both sides in a statement say CEO Sergio Marchionne and UAW President Bob King had a meeting earlier Friday.

“Chrysler kind of surprised everybody by sending out a message saying that they have been having meetings throughout the day. There had been earlier reports that the two sides had broken off talks… but apparently that is not accurate,” said Gilbert.

This is Marchionne’s first set of talks in the United States, but he has done these negotiations in Europe before.

Gilbert says the relationship there is a little more contentious than it is here in the U.S. and obviously Marchaonni plays by his own set of rules and I think that is why he sent that terse letter to Bob King last week, ” said Gilbert.

“The (negotiations) are more complicated at Chrysler, because Chrysler does not have as much money as the other auto makers, and Marchaonni has already said that he can’t afford to meet the pattern that was worked out at General Motors, and the hope is they can work out something that is acceptable to the company and the workers, who are going to have to vote on it,” states WWJ’s Gilbert.


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