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Associated Press
CNH Global NV at Impasse With UAW Union
Monday November 22, 10:54 am ET
CNH Global NV to Make Changes to Employee Policies in Face of Impasse With UAW Union

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -- Agriculture and construction equipment maker CNH Global NV on Monday said that it will implement changes to employee policies after reaching an impasse with the United Auto Workers union, which has been on strike since Nov. 3.

About 650 of the company's 10,000 North American employees are members the union, and work mainly at locations in Racine Wis., and Burlington, Iowa.

The company's CNH America LLC unit will implement a health-care plan similar to the rest of the company's U.S. operations, as well as a cap on annual health-care contributions for future retirees starting in 2008.

CNH said workers hired after April 1, 2004 will be subject to new wage packages competitive with local markets, while guaranteed bonuses and some attendance reward programs will be eliminated. The company said it plans to use supplemental employees and overtime to help manage seasonal changes in its business.

"Our final proposal encompassed the changes needed to begin to bring labor costs at our UAW-represented facilities from double the average cost levels of our other North American manufacturing facilities to an acceptable level," CNH chief negotiator Tom Graham said in a release. "Since the UAW rejected the company's May 2 contract proposal, further discussions with the union have been unsuccessful."

The company operates 41 plants worldwide, including 14 in North America.

American depositary receipts of CNH Global fell 18 cents, or 1 percent, to $18.42 on the New York Stock Exchange in morning trading.
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