TURIN, Italy -- Fiat S.p.A. today denied a declaration by a member of an Italian union that the automakers proposed deal with Chrysler LLC is 90 percent done.
In a statement, Fiat said:
No agreement has been concluded between Chrysler and trade unions in the U.S. and Canada and the assertion that the overall agreement has been 90% defined is untrue. The talks remain completely open and it is not currently possible to predict the timing or the outcome.
But in a statement to the Italian wire service ANSA, Bruno Vitali, head of the automotive sector of the Fim-Cisl Italian union, said he met today with UAW President Ron Gettelfinger.
Vitali was quoted as saying, The Fiat-Chrysler deal is ready and could be signed as soon as this afternoon. He added that he saw the deal as 90 percent done.
Vitali said the UAW and Canadian Auto Workers had accepted Chrysler requests.
Later today, Vitali backed off his earlier statements.
"There is no agreement regarding the Chrysler issue," he told Reuters by phone.
"But there is a strong push on the part of the American union to close this negotiation in a positive way," he said. "But keep in mind that we are in talks and that it could all fall apart."
The UAW, in a statement quoting Gettelfinger and Vice President General Holiefield, said talks are ongoing.
Contrary to some media reports, the union officials said, no agreement has been finalized, the statement said.
We are continuing to work toward an agreement that will be in the best interests of Chrysler workers, retirees and the communities where the company does business," Gettelfinger said in the statement.
In the report from Italy, Vitali said he expects Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne to present details of the Chrysler deal to the Fiat board tomorrow morning in Turin.
Reuters contributed to this report