DEARBORN (AP) – Local union presidents and bargaining chairs have unanimously voted to recommend approval of a tentative four-year contract between Ford Motor Co. and the United Auto Workers, a union local official said yesterday.

Bruce Yates, bargaining chairman at Local 2000 at an assembly plant in Avon Lake, Ohio, said the deal was recommended by a voice vote.

A summary of the contract posted on the union’s website shows that the Ford contract is similar to deals ratified by workers at General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC.

Ford will contribute $13.2 billion to a union-run trust that will pick up much of the company’s $22 billion in retiree health care liabilities. The company also will pay $2.2 billion for retiree health care until the trust takes effect in January 2010.

A typical UAW worker at Ford will get $12,904 worth of economic gains over the life of the contract, including a $3,000 signing bonus and lump-sum payments of 3 percent in the second year, 4 percent in the third year and 3 percent in the fourth year, according to the summary.

GM workers won similar bonuses with total gains of $13,056, while Chrysler workers are to receive $10,235.

The summary also said that the UAW won commitments from the company to build five new flexible body shops at assembly plants, as well as a $200 million commitment to invest in new technology and equipment at stamping plants.

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