Chrysler Autoworkers Walk Out as Deadline Passes

Thousands of Chrysler LLC autoworkers started to walk off the job Wednesday after the automaker and the United Auto Workers union failed to settle on a tentative contract agreement before a union-imposed deadline.

It would be the first UAW strike against Chrysler since 1997, when one plant was shut down for a month, and the first strike against Chrysler during contract talks since 1985. There was no immediate official word from the union or Chrysler on whether it was a nationwide strike.

In Indiana, Chrysler operates three transmission plants and a casting factory, all in Kokomo, that have about 6,000 workers.

The UAW, which must reach new four-year agreements with all three Detroit automakers, struck General Motors Corp. for two days before agreeing on a tentative pact with the automaker on Set. 26. The union hasn't yet settled with Ford Motor Co.