GM Workers Ratify Uaw Contract; Ford Next for Negotiations

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DETROIT (AP) - Workers at General Motors overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year contract, the United Auto Workers union announced Monday. Union and company officials said the next round of talks would shift to Ford.

UAW President Owen Bieber plans to resume negotiations Tuesday with Ford Motor Co. which had been placed on hold for over a month during the General Motors Corp. talks.

``We want to get on with this thing,'' Ford spokesman Dick Routh said Monday.

Negotiations between the union and Ford had been stalled since Aug. 28, when the UAW chose to focus its attention on GM. The new GM-UAW pact was approved by 86,032 votes in favor to 21,461 opposed, the union said in a statement Monday. Less than 36 percent of the approximately 300,000 eligible UAW members cast ballots during elections last week and Sunday.

About 100,000 active Ford employees are covered under the existing contract that technically expired at midnight Sept. 14.

Contract provisions at all three auto makers were extended while bargaining continued. In all, more that 450,000 active auto workers are covered by the three contracts.

``This agreement will serve as an excellent pattern for new contracts at Ford and Chrysler,'' Bieber and Vice President Stephen Yokich, in charge of the union's GM Department, said in a joint statement.

There are a few provisions of the GM-UAW agreement that will be troublesome to Ford, including new premiums on overtime work. …