DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. said late today that it had reached a tentative agreement with the UAW that will help the company avoid seeking emergency loans from the U.S. government.
The agreement modifies labor costs, benefits and operating practices and puts Fords cost structure on par with the manufacturing operations of transplant automakers, said Joe Hinrichs, Ford group vice president of global manufacturing and labor affairs, in a statement.
Ford did not detail the agreed-upon changes.
If ratified, the deal would help Ford operate through the current economic downturn without accessing a U.S. government bridge loan and continue to invest in the companys One Ford product-led transformation, Hinrichs said.
The agreement was reached Sunday afternoon. But discussions continue on how to structure funding of the Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association, or VEBA, retiree health care trust. A final settlement is contingent on a VEBA funding agreement, Ford said.
A final agreement would cover 42,000 UAW-represented employees in the United States.
Because of the ongoing discussions, Ford said it wont discuss more details at this time.
Said Hinrichs: All of us at Ford will continue to work with all of our stakeholders to participate in the current industry restructuring and improve our companys overall competitiveness.