UAW union members approve deal with Dana


CHICAGO, July 25 (Reuters) - United Auto Workers members ratified a new four-year contract with bankrupt car and truck parts maker Dana Corp. , the union said on Wednesday.

Dana, which filed for bankruptcy in March 2006, announced labor deals with the UAW and the United Steelworkers unions and a $500 million investment plan with Centerbridge Partners LP earlier in July as key steps to completing its reorganization.

UAW members approved the deal by an 86 percent vote. It covers more than 2,300 members and 6,200 retirees at eight Dana locations in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas, the UAW said.

The deals include establishment of trusts to cover union retiree health care and long-term worker disability. Dana will contribute $704 million cash and $80 million common stock in the reorganized company to cover about $1.1 billion in unfunded nonpension benefit and long-term disability obligations.

Judge Burton Lifland of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York is set to consider the deals and Centerbridge investment on Thursday.

Appaloosa Management LP, a creditors committee and other equity and debt investors filed objections to the proposed labor contracts and the Centerbridge-led equity plan.

Dana has said the labor deals could save it more than $100 million per year. The deals include a two-tier wage system to lower labor costs, the health care trusts and buyouts.

It expects to file a reorganization plan by the beginning of September and exit bankruptcy by the end of 2007. Dana has closed plants, shifted production to lower-cost regions and divested some businesses in the reorganization.

Toledo, Ohio-based Dana had revenue of $8.5 billion in 2006. It has about 35,000 workers in 28 countries.



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