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Ford's UAW Workers Agree to Concessions

Ford Motor Company and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union have reached an agreement that is expected to save the automaker millions of dollars. The Associated Press (AP) reports that the deal -- which the UAW says was ratified by 59 percent of production workers and 58 percent of skilled-trade workers employed by Ford -- includes a wage freeze and eliminates cost-of-living increases and cash bonuses. "We are focused on doing everything possible to rebuild a great industry and keep manufacturing jobs in the United States," says Ron Gettelfinger, UAW president. The Detroit Free Press reports that other concessions include shortening break time from one hour to 50 minutes in a 10-hour workday; eliminating a holiday and suspending a Christmas bonus; and allowing Ford to fund a retiree trust fund with company stock rather than cash. Ford has not requested federal bailout funds and previously said the union concessions were a necessary step in its plan to restore financial viability. The agreement is expected to serve as a guideline for General Motors and Chrysler, which are required to negotiate concessions with the UAW as part of their federal aid packages.

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