Source Pravda.Ru

UAW announces tentative deal with Ford on health care costs

The United Auto Workers said Saturday it reached a tentative agreement on health care costs with Ford Motor Co. that will require "sacrifices" from workers and retirees.

Details of the agreement were being withheld ahead of a meeting of the UAW-Ford Council next week in Detroit, the union said. The agreement is subject to ratification by active members and court approval.

There was no immediate response to a call seeking comment from a spokeswoman for the automaker.

Last month, General Motors Corp. got some relief from its spiraling &to=http://english.pravda.ru/economics/2001/06/28/8932.html' target=_blank>health care expenses when UAW members agreed to pay more of their health costs. The world's biggest automaker had asked the UAW for the concessions last spring as health care costs rose and it lost U.S. market share to Asian competitors.

"Like the UAW-GM health care agreement, this tentative agreement asks every UAW member, active and retired, to make sacrifices so that everyone can continue to receive excellent health care coverage today and in the future," UAW President Ron Gettelfinger and Gerald Bantom, who is in charge of negotiations with Ford, said in a statement.

Both Ford and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group had said after learning of the union's tentative deal with GM that they would ask the UAW for similar cuts.

Under the GM deal, retirees and hourly workers agreed to pay more for their health care. GM said the agreement will save it $3 billion (Ђ2.55 billion) annually before taxes.

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