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Chrysler Requests Government Funds from Canada, Threatens Shutdown

Chrysler President Thomas LaSorda has asked the Canadian government for a US$2.3 billion (approximately CAN$2.96 billion) loan and is threatening to close its Canadian plants if unionized auto workers there do not agree to new concessions, according to multiple news sources. MarketWatch reports that LaSorda told a parliamentary committee that the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) must agree to 25 percent pay cuts. In addition, Canada's tax agency must lift a US$500 million lien against an Ontario manufacturing plant. "Failure to satisfactorily resolve these three factors will place our Canadian manufacturing operations at a significant disadvantage relative to our manufacturing operations in North America and may very well impair our ability to continue to produce," LaSorda told the committee, as quoted by the Associated Press (AP). AP says Chrysler's labor costs in Canada are approximately US$20 per hour more than non-U.S. automakers such as Toyota and Honda. Canada's National Post says LaSorda told the committee that Chrysler will not follow the terms of an agreement that was reached earlier in the week between the CAW and General Motors Canada.

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