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UAW, Ford reach tentative agreement

Workers at the Chicago Assembly Plant in Hegewisch.

Ford and the United Auto Workers union have reached a tentative pact that would affect the pay, benefits and working conditions of more than 7,000 autoworkers in the Calumet Region.

“Our national negotiators elected by their local unions have voted to recommend to the UAW-Ford National Council the proposed tentative agreement,” UAW Vice President Rory Gamble said. “Our negotiating team worked diligently during the General Motors strike to maintain productive negotiations with Ford. The pattern bargaining strategy has been a very effective approach for UAW and its members to secure economic gains around salary, benefits and secured over $6 billion in major product investments in American facilities, creating and retaining over 8,500 jobs for our communities.”

UAW said it is not releasing details of the agreement until union members get a chance to review it. Ford also is mum about the particulars.

"Ford can confirm the UAW’s announcement that the UAW and Ford have reached a proposed tentative agreement on a four-year contract," Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said. "Further details will be provided at a later date."

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The UAW-Ford National Council will review the proposed contract. If approved, the council will send it to the membership for a ratification vote.

“Vice President Gamble, his staff and the Ford negotiating team have worked tirelessly to reach an agreement that preserves job security and rewards UAW Ford members for their quality work,” UAW President Gary Jones said. “These were long and hard hours, but I feel confident they were able to secure a contract that protects our member’s future.”

Ford employs about 5,810 workers at the Chicago Assembly Plant on the bank of the Calumet River and another 1,290 workers at the 2.5 million-square-foot Chicago Stamping Plant in Chicago Heights. The automaker also supports many local suppliers such as the Lear Corp. seat-making factory in Hammond.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.