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Strike threatens to shut W. German auto industry

Metalworkers in the key industrial region around Stuttgart went out on strike Monday to back up their demand for a 35-hour workweek. The action could bring the auto industry to a standstill.

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Union officials said about 13,000 workers walked off the job at 14 factories near here, many of them involved in making car parts.

BMW said it would have to close down its four major plants Thursday if the strike continued, but the metalworkers were adamant, saying they would extend their walkout to the Frankfurt area Monday.

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