Amadeusz Juskowiak

Amc amo says steps taken after uaw talks fail

American Motors Corp said it will take steps to build a proposed new jeep vehicle at an unspecified alternative location after the weekend breakdown of talks with the United Automobile Workers union on a concessionary contract covering workers at AMCs Wisconsin operations

AMC spokesman Lloyd Northard told Reuters that the company will not build its new Jeep ZJ sports utility vehicle at its Kenosha Wisc assembly plant as a result of the talks failure

We sincerely regret this outcome but the responsibility for it rests entirely with the local union bargaining committees the company said in a statement

We will therefore initiate the actions necessary to place the new Jeep product in an alternative location rather than at Kenosha

UAW officials said during the weekend they did not regard the collapse of talks as final after the companys final proposal on a new contract was unanimously rejected by union bargainers

But AMC said the unions rejection of its concessions package means that plants in Kenosha and Milwaukee will lose 6500 jobs because the assembly complex in Kenosha will not be getting new work as had been proposed with a new contract

This unfortunate outcome demonstrates the difficulty of maintaining existing working and bringing new work to existing US operations AMC said

Asked if the company considered the decision to phase out the Kenosa plant by 1989 as previously detailed to be final Northard said If the union came to us and said they would accept our final proposal thats another matter

But the company charged bargainers for UAW Locals 72 and 75 had reneged on commitments for a new agreement with lower labor rates made in 1985 when the union locals negotiated a concessionary agreement covering AMCs Wisconsin operations

AMC which last week reported its first profitable quarter in two years said it wanted a contract for the plants with labor rates and work rules comparable to agreements between the UAW and Japanese automakers operating in the US

Wall Street investors reacted to the AMCUAW impasse by driving down AMCs stock price In active trading AMC was off 38 to 312 a 97 pct decline since Fridays close

Reuter