UAW Members at Ford Ratify New 4-Year Pact

From Associated Press

The United Auto Workers said Tuesday that its members at Ford Motor Co. have ratified a new four-year contract.

"We're very proud of this contract and the teamwork that made it possible," UAW President Stephen P. Yokich said. "It's rewarding to know that the UAW Ford membership supports the agreement by such a substantial margin."

The union said 85% of the workers who voted approved the deal. Vote totals were not immediately available; the union represents about 100,000 Ford workers.

The contract mirrors many of the terms agreed to by General Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler--3% raises each year, a $1,350 signing bonus and improvements in pensions.

It also guarantees Ford jobs for about 23,500 workers in parts plants, even if Ford spins off its Visteon Automotive Systems parts division.

The future of Visteon had been one of the most contentious issues in this year's talks. Ford is expected to spin off Visteon, just as GM did with its Delphi Automotive Systems last year. The theory is that the parts divisions need more business than GM or Ford alone can provide, but other companies would not work with them unless they were independent.

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