Confusion over Chrysler workers' pay during break

LANSING, MI – The state unemployment agency has notified thousands of Chrysler Group LLC hourly workers they are eligible for unemployment benefits during the automaker's summer 2-week shutdown, despite a contract provision that states otherwise.

The Detroit Free Press reports Thursday the workers were notified last week they were entitled for benefits during the July 13-24 shutdown.

In the past, workers could receive state unemployment benefits and supplemental company pay during the annual shutdown. But under the new United Auto Workers contract, workers instead take vacation during the period.

Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth spokesman Norm Isotalo says if workers receive vacation pay, that could reduce or eliminate their unemployment benefits.