UAW Workers Ratify Historic 4 Year Contract With Ford

DETROIT (AP) -- United Auto Workers members have overwhelmingly ratified a contract with Ford.

The deal sets lower pay for some newly hired workers and puts the company's huge retiree health care debt into a union-run trust. The UAW, which represents about 54,000 workers at Ford, says 79 percent of those voting favored the pact.

Workers at General Motors and Chrysler have already ratified similar deals, but there was no strike at Ford.

The landmark deals have been praised by the companies and union for protecting jobs while at the same time cutting labor costs to make the struggling automakers more competitive with their Japanese rivals.

The UAW president says the contract with Ford protects wages, benefits and seniority rights and provides income and secure health care for retirees.

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