Ford Workers Approve New Contract

DETROIT ( TheStreet) -- Ford ( F) workers have approved their four-year contract.

The United Auto Workers said Wednesday the contract was approved by 63% of production workers and 65% of skilled trades workers. Production workers voted 22,031 in favor with 12,957 against. Skilled trades workers voted 4,243 in favor with 2,268 against.

Union leadership, which has strongly supported the agreement, applauded its approval and noted they are working with the automakers to restore U.S. jobs.

"I believe UAW Ford workers understood the importance of each and every vote," said UAW vice president Jimmy Settles, who oversees relations with Ford, in a prepared statement. "That was evident in the high voter turnout with 85% of the overall membership voting." The union represents about 41,000 Ford workers.

President Bob King added: "As the nation's economy remains stalled and uncertain and its employment rate stagnates, we were able to win an agreement with Ford that will bring auto manufacturing jobs back to the United States from China, Mexico and Japan." The agreement adds 5,750 new UAW jobs at Ford, bringing the total new jobs to 12,000, many of them added by the end of 2012.

Contract deals with the Detroit Three, approved at Ford and General Motors ( GM) with approval pending at Chrysler, would result in 20,000 new U.S. jobs during the life of the contracts.

"This agreement is proof that, by working together with our UAW partners and local communities, we can significantly create new jobs, invest in our plants and people, and make a very positive impact on the U.S. economy," said Mark Fields, Ford president of the Americas, in a prepared statement.

The company said its new investment and added jobs are designed to help it meet current and anticipated future demand for its vehicles.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

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