UAW, Detroit Three Reach Contract Deals

The concessions by the automakers union helps GM and Chrysler as they present viability plans to the U.S. government.
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The United Auto Workers says it has reached tentative contract deals with all three Detroit automakers, which paved the way for

General Motors

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and Chrysler to submit viability plans to the U.S. Treasury on Tuesday.

The proposed changes to the 2007 national agreements "will help these companies face the extraordinarily difficult economic climate in which they operate," said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, in a prepared statement.

He said discussions continue regarding the funding of the Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Associations health care agreements. Details of the changes to the contract agreement and VEBA agreement will be released following ratification, Gettelfinger said.

Ford

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has a tentative contract deal even though it, unlike GM and Chrysler, is not seeking bailout money.

Ratification "would help Ford operate through the current economic downturn without accessing a U.S. government bridge loan and continue to invest in the company's ONE Ford product-led transformation," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford group vice president for global manufacturing, in a prepared statement.

The tentative agreement with Ford, reached Sunday, includes modified provisions on labor costs, benefits and operating practices, Hinrichs said. A final agreement is contingent upon a VEBA agreement, he said.