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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 November 2007, 16:20 GMT
US union agrees final auto deal
UAW member works on a Ford Focus at a Ford factory in Michigan
Ford was the only big US car firm that managed to avoid a strike
United Auto Workers (UAW) members have ratified a four-year contract with Ford, bringing to an end a combative round of pay negotiations.

It is similar to deals agreed with General Motors and Chrysler, where there were strikes during the process.

The agreement will mean lower pay for some newly-hired workers and will put the healthcare plan for retired employees into union control.

The manufacturers were keen to reach agreements to reduce labour costs.

Both sides praised the eventual deals, saying they had managed to protect jobs, while at the same time making it easier for the struggling carmakers to compete with their Japanese rivals.

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