Business Digest | Chrysler to cut 25 percent of salaried work force

Chrysler to cut 25 percent of salaried work force

As talks over the potential sale of Chrysler LLC continue, the struggling automaker said Friday it will slash 25 percent of its salaried work force and make further cuts to deal with a continued downward spiral in U.S. auto sales.

Negotiations for Chrysler's sale or merger, which involve majority owner Cerberus Capital Management LP, General Motors Corp. and the combined Nissan Motor Co.-Renault SA, were to continue into the weekend. But they are snagged on items such as tax liabilities, tight credit and the slowing economy, according to a person briefed on the talks.

The person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private, said multiple parties remain involved in the talks, which include several possible configurations such as the sale of Chrysler in its entirety, or a partial sale.

Under the job cuts announced Friday, Chrysler, which has about 18,500 white-collar workers, will get rid of about 5,000 salaried workers and contract employees.

Chief Executive Bob Nardelli, in a memo to employees obtained by The Associated Press, warned that more restructuring is coming at a pace faster than before.

“We recognize that in order to strengthen our competitive capability, and reduce the time and cost to achieve our objectives, we cannot operate as we have in the past,” he wrote. “In the near future, we will be making organizational announcements as a result of restructuring actions reflecting the need to find new ways to operate.”

Associated Press