Ford has become the first Detroit automaker to have its UAW members approve various contract and Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) retiree health care concessions in the latest round of collective bargaining. Nearly 60 percent of the workers approved the deal that will allow the Blue Oval to fund up to 50 percent of its health care trust obligations with stock shares, amending the 2007 labor agreement.

Ford has gone on record saying that it is pleased with the new deal, adding that it will help the automaker avoid seeking aid from the U.S. government. The UAW is likewise crowing about the agreement, with president Ron Gettelfinger (Left) saying:
"Once again UAW members have stepped up to make the difficult decisions necessary to deal with the reality of the current economy, the deteriorating auto industry as a whole and specifically the negative impact the economic climate is having on Ford Motor Co.,"
[Source: Automotive News (subs. req) | Image: Bill Pugliano/Getty]

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