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Published: Wednesday, 2/25/2009

UAW boss backs Ford contract concessions

ASSOCIATED PRESS

DETROIT - United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger is telling union members to vote for contract concessions to Ford Motor Co., saying the automaker can t survive in the long term without major restructuring.

Gettelfinger says in a letter to 42,000 hourly Ford workers that the company is burning through $1 billion per month to stay in business because revenue has dropped so dramatically.

He recommends that members vote for concessions and points out that the union was able to preserve base pay, keep current health benefits and pensions and prevent further plant closures.

But the union has also agreed to give up cost of living pay raises and cash bonuses, and the company will offer another round of buyout and early retirement incentives to shed more workers.



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