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Published: Thursday, 10/11/2007

UAW members ratify 4-year contract with GM

ASSOCIATED PRESS

DETROIT - The United Auto Workers union said yesterday that its members had ratified a historic four-year contract with General Motors Corp.

Sixty-six percent of production workers voted in favor of the deal, while 64 percent of skilled trades workers approved it, the UAW said. The union typically does not release vote totals.

The deal, reached Sept. 26 after a two-day nationwide strike, establishes lower pay for some workers and puts GM's retiree health-care debt into a UAW-run trust in exchange for promises of future work at U.S. plants.

The contract covers 3,600 GM workers in Toledo and Defiance. The firm has a Toledo Powertrain factory that makes rear-wheel-drive transmissions and a Defiance foundry.

UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said the agreement protects jobs, wages, and benefits for active and retired workers.

"And we helped protect middle-class manufacturing jobs in communities throughout the United States," he said.

GM Chief Executive and Chairman Rick Wagoner thanked the UAW for reaching an innovative agreement "that effectively addresses the needs of our employees and retirees, while providing a basis for improved competitiveness that will support future U.S. investments."

The pact covers more than 74,000 active workers and about 340,000 retirees and spouses.



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