DETROIT (Reuters) - Chrysler Group LLC said on Thursday that production will not be affected at its Dundee, Michigan, engine plant after union workers there rejected a plant contract.
Production of the engines will continue, said Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson.
The engines made at the plant are used in various Chrysler models, including the recently launched Dodge Dart and the Fiat 500. Both of those are small cars with deeper design and engineering links to Chrysler’s majority owner, Italy’s Fiat SpA FIA.MI, than other Chrysler models.
“We had a tentative agreement that we reached with the union and we expected it to be ratified,” said Tinson. “So, it’s up to the union to figure out what they do next.”
Representatives of the United Auto Workers union at the plant and at UAW headquarters were not available for comment.
The Detroit News reported that 73 percent of the workers rejected the contract. UAW-represented plants have their own agreements covering specific issues in addition to the national four-year contract, which Chrysler workers approved last fall.
As part of the 2009 bankruptcy and government bailout of Chrysler, UAW-represented workers agreed not to strike Chrysler. The same bailout led to the management control of Chrysler by Fiat.
There are 581 hourly workers represented by the UAW at the plant and 107 salaried workers, Chrysler said.
Last September, when the Dundee plant was not yet a part of the nationwide UAW contract talks with Chrysler, workers there threatened to strike. But two weeks later, they voted overwhelmingly to join fellow Chrysler workers in negotiating a national contract with the automaker.
Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Leslie Adler