A “major shakeout” appears imminent in the North America’s car-hauling business following a dispute between the Teamsters union and motor carrier Allied Automotive Group, an informed source tells Ward’s.

Service to Chrysler is disrupted today, the auto maker says in a statement.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and assessing our options to ensure continuity of vehicle supply to our dealers,” Chrysler tells Ward’s.

The dispute’s impact on other auto makers is unclear.

An Allied spokeswoman declines to answer questions this morning, but tells Ward’s a statement may be released as the situation unfolds. A Teamsters spokesman also promises a statement later today.

Allied recently told its workers their pay would be cut by 20%, according to the website of Teamsters for a Democratic Union, a reform-minded movement within the labor organization.

Citing breach of contract, the Teamsters subsequently advised Allied its members would be in a legal strike position as of today, the website adds.

But a source close to the situation tells Ward’s the walkout was called off, adding there is unconfirmed buzz within the union that Allied has reversed its plans to cut workers’ pay.

Allied is North America’s largest motor carrier, transporting more than nine million vehicles annually with a fleet of some 4,000 trucks in 90 locations in the U.S. and Canada, the company’s website says.

The disruption comes as the North American auto industry is preoccupied with the consequences of last week’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The disasters have stopped production and threatened the flow of finished vehicles and parts from the island nation, the world’s second-largest vehicle producer.

emayne@wardsauto.com