Mitsubishi and UAW to revise a collective bargaining agreement

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 15, 2010

Mitsubishi Motors North America is amending a collective bargaining agreement with UAW-represented workers that could bring a new product to the automaker's only assembly plant in the U.S.

In a statement issued to AutomotiveNews, Mitsubishi spokesman Dan Irvin says that the UAW membership would vote on a revision to its collective bargaining agreement, and neither side would comment until the vote was completed.

Both Irvin and Ralph Timan, president of UAW Local 2488 at the plant in Normal, Ill., did not comment beyond the two-sentence statement.

In August 2010, Mitsubishi failed to meet a contractual deadline by not allocating a new product to be built at the plant. The increase of the base wages of UAW rank-and-file employees was the result of such a move.

The renewed talks suggest that Mitsubishi plans to build something new at the Illinois plant, which currently assembles the Endeavor, Eclipse, Galant and Eclipse Spyder.

The vehicles are outdated models made for the U.S. that are underpinned by Mitsubishi's PS platform -- a strategy in conflict with Mitsubishi's new goal of producing smaller, fuel-efficient cars that can be sold globally.

The talks come as Mitsubishi wraps up a global mid-term business plan, which is expected to have a detailed forecast of its operations in the United States, including what it plans do with the Illinois plant and the future of its U.S. vehicle lineup.

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