Tower Automotive today announced ratification of contract agreements with the United Auto Workers union (UAW) and the United Steelworkers union (USW) covering approximately 1,000 employees at Tower facilities in Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. The agreements, when combined with agreements reached earlier with Tower’s Milwaukee unions and its retirees, along with the closing of the Greenville, Mich., plant later this year, will result in total annual cost savings of more than $31 million. Achieving a reduction in labour costs has been a key element in Tower’s plan to improve its competitiveness and allow it to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The agreements must be approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court overseeing Tower’s Chapter 11 case in order to take effect. As part of the contracts announced today, Tower plants in Elkton, Mich., and Bluffton, Ohio, agreed to increased health care contributions, labour wage reductions and fewer holidays. “The issues addressed in this agreement, while very difficult, were strong and necessary steps for these plants to assure their future viability,” said Kathleen Ligocki, president and chief executive officer of Tower. “The result will give us cost savings critical to Tower’s reorganization plan. I want to thank our Tower colleagues for all their hard work and dedication that are so important to our reorganization process.” Approval of the contract by the Bankruptcy Court will keep Tower on track to file its Plan of Reorganization later this year. The company intends to emerge from Chapter 11 before the end of 2006. Tower Automotive, Inc. is a global designer and producer of vehicle structural components and assemblies used by many major automotive original equipment manufacturers, including BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai/Kia, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.