Auto parts maker Magna to welcome unions-reports

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MONTREAL, Oct 13 (Reuters) Magna International Inc is set to unveil on Monday an agreement that would open the big auto parts maker to organizing drives by the Canadian Auto Workers union, according to reports published.

Stories posted on the Internet Websites of the Globe and Mail and Financial Post said the agreement would be announced at Magna's headquarters in Aurora, Ontario by the company's chairman, Frank Stronach.

Magna has some 21,000 employees in Canada and they are not represented by unions.

Magna officials could not be immediately reached for comment on Friday.

In a statement released on Friday night, the CAW said union president Buzz Hargrove would not be available to comment ''on any relationship with Magna until after Monday afternoon.'' Shannon Devine, a spokeswoman for the CAW, said there likely would be a ''meeting'' held just outside Toronto on Monday afternoon, but she declined to confirm or deny the reports on a deal between Magna and the CAW. Aurora is located just outside Toronto.

The Globe and Mail, citing sources familiar with the matter, said that a key part of the deal is that Magna's management will be neutral during organizing drives by the CAW at the company's 61 manufacturing facilities Canada.

At Magna's annual meeting in 2006, Stronach first suggested such a deal could be envisaged and that he had been in discussions on the matter with the CAW's Hargrove.

Reuters DKS VP0756

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