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Titan, USWA closer than ever to agreement, union says

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Steelworkers who have been picketing Titan Tire Corp.'s Des Moines, Iowa, plant for more than three years may be headed back to work if union officials and Titan management can come to an agreement on a single outstanding issue, according to United Steelworkers of America (USWA) Local 164 President John Peno.

The USWA and Titan are "apart" on the issue of spousal benefits for company retirees, Peno says.

"Both sides are working to resolve (it.)"

Some 29 other key issues already have been resolved during negotiations, the USWA says.

If Steelworkers and Titan reach a mutually agreeable compromise, Local 164 members will hold a ratification vote on Wednesday, Sept. 26.

If ratification occurs, "we'll start getting people back in the plant," Peno says.

Local 164 members held a ratification meeting earlier this week but discovered "we're apart on what each side thought we'd negotiated."

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