Detroit, Michigan – United Auto Workers Union (UAW) members at Ford Motor Company have ratified modifications to the UAW-Ford 2007 labour agreement, as well as funding changes to the independent Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) trust for retiree health care.

In balloting at UAW Ford locations throughout the United States, 59 per cent of production workers and 58 per cent of skilled-trades workers voted for the agreement.

“Once again, UAW members have stepped up to make the difficult decisions necessary to deal with the reality of the current economy, the deteriorating auto industry as a whole, and specifically the negative impact the economic climate is having on Ford Motor Company,” said UAW president Ron Gettelfinger. “We are focused on doing everything possible to rebuild a great industry and keep manufacturing jobs in the United States. As we have stated many times, in order to succeed, shared sacrifice will be required from all stakeholders, including executives, directors, shareholders, bondholders, dealers and suppliers.”

In a statement, Joe Hinrichs, group vice-president of Ford’s global manufacturing and labour affairs, said that the company is pleased with the ratification. “By working together with our UAW partners, we identified solutions that will help Ford reach competitive parity with foreign-owned auto manufacturers and that are important to our efforts to operate through the current economic environment without accessing a bridge loan from the U.S. government,” Hinrichs said.

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