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UAW members ratify Ford labor agreement

A preliminary agreement between UAW and auto maker Ford was announced on October 31, averting a strike similar to that seen at General Motorsdealership in Landover Hills, Maryland.US automaker Ford said Monday it would lay off about 450 employees in Canada as it ends production of two vehicles currently assembled there. This month, Ford stopped making the Lincoln MKT at its Oakville assembly plant west of Toronto, and will discontinue the Ford Flex SUV by the end of November, a company spokeswoman told AFP. (AFP Photo/Saul LOEB)

Washington (AFP) - Members of United Auto Workers have approved a new labor agreement with auto giant Ford, the union announced late Friday.

A preliminary agreement was announced on October 31, which averted a strike similar to the one at General Motors.

The new four-year contract includes a bonus of $9,000 for full-time union workers at Ford, bonuses linked to performance and two annual increases of three percent, UAW said in a statement.

Rory Gamble, UAW vice president in charge of the negotiations, said the deal would be "a life-changing contract for many and provides a template for all future Ford UAW members to a full-time, top-rate status."

"There will be no more permanent temporary situations and no more permanent tiers."

By the end of October, Gamble had indicated that the preliminary agreement was modeled on the new GM work contract, announced shortly before.

After forty days of unprecedented strike action, GM and UAW reached an agreement providing for wage increases, an $11,000 signing bonus and $7.7 billion additional investment in US plants.