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UAW has pact with GM, Delphi

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DETROIT — The United Auto Workers reached a tentative four-year contract agreement Thursday with the last of the Big Three automakers to reach a deal, General Motors Corp.

A tentative deal also was reached with automotive supplier Delphi Corp. The agreements were announced more than three days after labor pacts expired.

The UAW earlier this week reached tentative agreements with Ford Motor Co., DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group and supplier Visteon Corp.

All agreements require ratification by union members, a process that's expected to take place over the next week to 10 days. The GM pact generally mirrors the others in economic terms, said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, but he declined to discuss details.

"In the last five days we have successfully concluded negotiations with five of the largest manufacturers in the world," Gettelfinger said. "That's five for five."

GM, the world's largest automaker, has 115,000 active UAW workers and another 340,000 retirees and spouses. Delphi has 30,000 UAW workers. GM and Delphi employees reported for work as usual throughout negotiations.

"The agreement . . . will allow us to work together to address what is clearly a challenging set of competitors," GM chairman and chief executive Rick Wagoner said.

The two sides had negotiated "late into the night" Wednesday, GM spokesman Tom Wickham said.

Delphi was spun off from GM in 1999, and the automaker remains its biggest customer. The union has said it would like for GM to continue buying parts from Delphi as opposed to nonunion suppliers. At the same time, GM is under intense pressure to lower operating costs and conduct business as efficiently as possible.

"We're very pleased with the tentative agreement. I do think it sets this highly competitive industry in perspective," said Delphi chief executive J.T. Battenberg. The deal "should help all of us succeed in the future."

Gettelfinger said when the Chrysler deal was announced that the contract with the No. 3 U.S. automaker would serve as a model for the others.

The UAW, Ford and DaimlerChrysler have declined to discuss specifics of their proposed four-year contracts, but two sources familiar with the deals say they include a $3,000 signing bonus, a lump-sum payment in the second year and wage increases between 2 percent and 3 percent in the third and fourth years. At the end of the second quarter, a UAW-represented assembler earned $25.63 an hour, a wage that for now will remain largely intact.