Magna Prepares to Buy Chrysler
When Cerberus liberated Chrysler from its German captors, we speculated on the role parts maker Magna would play in the ailing automaker's future. At the time, we were looking for the three-headed canine to perform a quick strip and flip, off-loading a big ass chunk of Chrysler's production onto the cash-rich Canadians. Perhaps we spoke too soon. Bloomberg reports that Magna has reversed decades of anti-union efforts and signed a "Framework of Fairness" with the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW). Under the terms of the agreement, the CAW agrees to a no-strike clause, in favor of independent arbitration.Today's Globe and Mail prints a joint statement by Magna's Frank Stronach and the CAW's Buzz Hargrove claiming that they've put away their differences "for the sake of the industry." Apparently. "economic studies have suggested that companies that pair union representation with extensive mechanisms for worker involvement and participation attain the best possible combination of high productivity and high morale." Who knew? A more likely explanation: at a stroke, the deal removes Chrysler's United Auto Workers members' objections to Magna's purchase of Chrysler production facilities, if not the entire company. Rock and roll!