- The Washington Times - Friday, January 31, 2003

DETROIT, Jan. 31 (UPI) — The United Auto Workers have won the right to represent 3,100 hourly workers at two Freightliner truck plants in North Carolina, DaimlerChrysler officials said.

Freightliner LLC, a division of DaimlerChrysler AG, operates seven manufacturing facilities in the United States employing about 13,000 employees. Eligible workers at two plants in Cleveland and Gastonia, N.C., completed the "card check" voting process last weekend, signing cards authorizing the union to bargain on their behalf.

The vote for union representation was verified and certified by federal labor mediators Thursday.

A spokesman for Freightliner said negotiating a contract with the UAW would not pose a problem for Freightliner. The UAW has represented a Freightliner plant in Mount Holly, N.C., since April 1990 and reportedly has plans to hold card checks at four other Freightliner plants in the South.

Winning the right to represent Freightliner employees was considered a major recruiting victory for the UAW at the German-American automaker. The union was unsuccessful in organizing a Mercedes-Benz factory in Alabama four years ago.

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