TRW Automotive reaches tentative labor deal at Auburn plant

Union workers have reached a tentative agreement with an auto parts manufacturer that would end their two-day strike at a central New York plant.

Officials with Livonia, Mich.-based TRW Automotive tell local media outlets that the two sides worked out a tentative deal Wednesday and the workers are scheduled to vote on it Thursday.

About 150 members of the International Chemical Workers Union Council went on strike at the TRW plant in Auburn when their three-year contract expired early Tuesday morning. Many of the workers braved the heavy rain as they stood in front of the plant with signs accusing TRW of corporate greed.

Major issues in the contract talks were the company's demands to expand work shift hours and hire temporary workers.

Union president Gregory Large told CNY Centralâ??s Jim Kenyon that the company wanted to change shifts. The new shifts would require employees to work either four 10-hour days or three 12-hour days on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Union officials say the average production worker earns just over $12 per hour at the plant, which produces remote locks and tire pressure sensors for the automotive industry.

Large says the company wanted to make other concessions which would allow TRW to hire what he calls a "flexible workforce." Under such an agreement, Large says TRW would be allowed to hire temporary, non-union, employees that would make up 20% of the plantâ??s workforce.

(Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)