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Published: Tuesday, 10/12/2004

UAW, supplier reach multi-plant accord

DETROIT - The United Auto Workers and Axle Alliance Co. an automotive supplier have reached a collective bargaining agreement that covers current hourly workers and possibly those at yet-to-open factories, the two sides announced yesterday.

The two sides negotiated a four-year pact in February covering workers at Axle Alliance's plant in Redford, a Detroit suburb, and struck the national agreement two weeks ago.

For now, Axle Alliance runs only the plant in Redford, but it is beginning work at another in Kings Mountain, N.C., and expansions are under way. The new agreement would cover hourly workers at any additional facilities if a majority of those workers choose UAW representation.

UAW officials said the new agreement is novel in that it will eliminate negotiations on matters at individual plants. When the UAW and Detroit's Big Three automakers reached national agreements in 2003, UAW locals negotiated contracts on matters specific to their plants.

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