Things are quiet on the bargaining front between Detroit automakers and the UAW.
Local union officials and industry analysts say the silence could be a sign of progress as contracts are set to expire in just three weeks.
Many say the talks are critical to the survival of the domestic auto industry.
General Motors, Chrysler and Ford lost a combined $15 billion last year and want to reduce the hourly labor cost gap with Japanese competitors. The companies say that figure is around $25 per hour.
The unions say labor is only 10 percent of a vehicle's cost.
Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally has said he thinks an agreement can be reached before the national contracts expire September 14.
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