Chrysler LLC said on Wednesday that it would halt factory operations for at least a month, putting new pressure on the Bush administration to quickly help cash-strapped automakers.

The shutdown beginning on Friday will idle plants in the United States, Canada and Mexico that produce vehicles for its Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands.

More than 30,000 unionized workers at U.S. factories will receive nearly full wages and benefits during the shutdown, which Chrysler said was prompted by ongoing financial stress worsened by the global credit crunch and dwindling sales.

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