March 26, 2009 / 10:48 AM / 9 years ago

Chrysler Canada seeks retiree health savings: report

(Reuters) - Chrysler Canada Inc is negotiating with the Canadian Auto Workers to reduce an $80 million bill for healthcare for retirees who spend the winter months in Florida and other warmer locations, the Globe and Mail said on Thursday.

<p>The Chrysler logo is seen at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, January 13, 2009. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook</p>

The bill, part of a $1.6 billion healthcare obligation for Chrysler Canada’s employees, represents the difference between provincial health care rates and those that retirees incur outside Ontario, the Toronto paper said, citing a memo from Chrysler LLC President Tom LaSorda.

The $80 million is one of several elements that makes the union contract more expensive than Chrysler’s with the United Auto Workers in the United States and General Motors of Canada Ltd’s with the CAW, according to the memo addressed to the managers of Chrysler’s three Canadian plants.

Chrysler is sticking to its position that it needs a contract with the CAW that goes beyond the concessions the union gave to GM Canada, if it is going to keep its plants in Brampton and Windsor, Ontario, operating, the paper said.

Officials at Chrysler’s U.S. headquarters were not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by S. John Tilak in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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