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Ford and UAW reach tentative deal on VEBA changes

Ford and UAW reach tentative deal on VEBA changes

DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co (F.N) and the UAW on Monday reached a tentative deal on VEBA changes, the UAW said. Highlights:

* Ford Motor Co and UAW reach tentative deal on contract changes

* UAW says proposed changes will be presented to union's local leadership early

this week

* UAW says proposed changes to the VEBA will require court approval

* UAW says modifications will protect jobs for members by ensuring long-term

viability of company

* UAW says any changes to contract are subject to approval of UAW membership at



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Editor’s Note: The following statement is attributable to Joe Hinrichs, group vice president, Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs, Ford Motor Company.

Dearborn, Mich., Feb. 23 – The United Auto Workers union and Ford Motor Company have reached a tentative agreement on modifications to the Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) retiree health care trust.

We are pleased with this agreement, which provides us the option to settle with Ford common stock up to 50 percent of the payments into the VEBA in lieu of cash...

Deal gives Ford options on health care - International Herald Tribune
By Nick Bunkley
Published: February 23, 2009

DETROIT: Ford Motor can substitute its stock for as much as half of its payments into a retiree health care trust under a deal announced Monday by the company and the United Automobile Workers union...

...The news lifted Ford shares 14 cents, or nearly 9 percent, to $1.72 in afternoon trading. GM shares were up 7 cents, or nearly 4 percent, $1.84 ...

...Even though Ford is not borrowing money from the government, it had been expected to seek and receive whatever concessions that the UAW granted GM and Chrysler, which are now asking to borrow a total of $39 billion. As it has turned out, the union has had better luck negotiating with Ford first and then asking GM and Chrysler to accept similar turns.

After talks broke down this month between the union and GM, Gettelfinger reached a deal with Ford on issues other than retiree health care and used it to broker terms with GM and Chrysler several days later.

GM and Chrysler have until March 31 to show the government that they are making progress in the restructuring plans that they submitted last week. A task force created by President Barack Obama will review those plans and next month's filings to determine whether the companies can keep their loans and receive more money...
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