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West German strike battle escalates dramatically

The battle over a 35-hour work-week in the West German engineering industry has escalated dramatically and threatens to develop into one of the country's worst labor disputes in years.

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Employers have said they will counter metalworkers' strikes in Baden-Wuerteemberg with large-scale lock-outs on Tuesday, and the Trade Union Federation has called all its members in the state on sympathy strikes the following day.Volkswagen, the country's biggest car maker, and West German Ford will start closing factories in West Germany and Belgium this week and workers at the General Motors subsidiary Opel are being called out on strike today.

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