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Chrysler Plants In Kokomo Going Under 60-Day Shutdown

Last updated on Friday, May 1, 2009

(KOKOMO) - The Chrysler transmission and casting plants in Kokomo are shutting down for 60 days, starting Monday.

The companywide shutdown allows time to arrange a merger with the Italian carmaker Fiat. Workers represented by United Auto Workes Local 685 fear they'll have to make new concessions.

One man says, "You know Fiat will want us to take a pay cut. They haven't asked us yet but that's what we're gonna have to go back to the table and deal with now."

Some workers claim the union and their employer have failed to keep them informed of the progress of the talks with creditors and Fiat. A woman who's already on layoff, and facing another 90 days off the job in a phased-in return to production, said, "communication is lacking."

But the workers say they're optimistic about Chrysler's chances for survival upon emerging from bankruptcy.

Aaron Arriago, general sales manager of Button Dodge, adjacent to Chrysler's Kokomo campus says they're right about that.

He says Fiat "has a great little car that will be an asset to Chrysler when it hits the US."

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