Ford-UAW Deal Shows Detroit the Way Forward

Compromise reveals Detroit's 'dinosaurs' can adapt to survive
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2009 1:39 AM CDT
In this 2007 file photo, UAQ President Ron Gettelfinger, left, and Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford shake hands to open their contract talks at Ford World Headquarters.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, file)
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(Newser) – The deal hammered out between Ford and the UAW offers Detroit a rare glimpse of hope for the future, Jim Jelter writes in MarketWatch. The deal, ratified by workers yesterday, lets Ford pay half its health-care costs for workers in shares instead of cash, binding workers fortunes' closer to the company and showing lawmakers that unions are willing to take a share of the burden in hard times, writes Jelter.

The deal will serve as a handy template for GM and Chrysler's own talks with the UAW, Jelter writes, and shows Ford to be the Detroit automaker furthest down the road to recovery. "It's hard to be enthusiastic over today's labor deal since it's the product of hard times," writes Jelter. "But it shows union stiffs and management can change their ways when it finally dawns on them that they face mutual annihilation if they don't."