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UAW, Ford reach tentative labour agreement


AFP Detroit
The United Auto Workers said late Wednesday it reached a tentative labour agreement with Ford, covering 52,000 union members employed by the auto giant.
The announcement came just days after General Motors workers returned to their posts following a bruising 40-day strike. The tentative agreement still must win approval from Ford union members before going into force.
"Our national negotiators, elected by their local unions, have voted unanimously to recommend to the UAW-Ford National Council the proposed tentative agreement," said Rory Gamble, UAW vice president in charge of negotiations with Ford.
Ford and the UAW have been discussing the new contract since July, but the final phase began Monday after the GM strike ended late last week.
"Out of respect for our members, we will refrain from commenting or releasing full details of the agreement until the UAW-Ford Council leaders meet and review the details," said Gamble.
The union's Ford Council, which is made up of local union officers, will meet Friday in Detroit. If approved by the council, the agreement will then go to all Ford hourly and salary members for a ratification vote.
Members of the UAW employed by GM ratified a new four-year contract on Friday that maintained the health care benefits without any cost increases and included pay increases, an USD 11,000 ratification bonus, a path to top wages for new hires and a separate path for temporary employees to become full-time employees after three years of continuous service.
The settlement, which also cleared the way for GM to close four factories, ended the longest US auto strike in decades, resulting in about a USD 3 billion hit to GM's 2019 earnings.
While he declined to discuss the details of the tentative agreement, Gamble indicated that the agreement follows the "pattern" set at GM.
"Our negotiating team worked diligently during the General Motors strike to maintain productive negotiations with Ford. The pattern bargaining strategy has been a very effective approach for UAW and its members to secure economic gains around salary and benefits," he said.
The UAW is expected to launch talks with Fiat Chrysler after the Ford agreement is ratified.
Bill Dirksen, Ford vice president of labor affairs, said, "Ford can confirm the UAW's announcement that the UAW and Ford have reached a proposed tentative agreement on a four-year contract. Further details will be provided at a later date," he said.

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First Published: Oct 31 2019 | 9:20 PM IST

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