The United Auto Workers on Monday approved a lucrative four-year contract with DaimlerChrysler by a wide margin.
The new deal covering 75,000 hourly and salaried workers was approved by 86 percent of voters in balloting Saturday.
The union said the deal gives the average DaimlerChrysler assembly worker $29,300 in wage increases and bonuses over the next four years. Workers get an annual increase of 3 percent a year for all four years, a $1,350 signing bonus and improved cost of living adjustments. The union expects the DaimlerChrysler contract to be used by General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. with only minor changes. Talks were held at GM through the weekend and appeared to be intensifying, while talks at Ford continued at a lower level.
The new deal has several clauses aimed at protecting union jobs. If employment drops below 80 percent of a set level in a bargaining unit, DaimlerChrysler must replace each job lost, according to a union summary of the contract. If the level is between 80 percent and 90 percent, one of every two empty positions must be filled; between 90 and 100 percent, the ratio is 1-to-3.