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GM Grants U.S. Job Security Guarantees to UAW

The United Auto Workers won guarantees in its tentative contract agreement with General Motors that many new products would be built at U.S. plants to save jobs, union President Ron Gettelfinger said Friday.

Gettelfinger didn't provide specifics during an afternoon news conference, but said GM had agreed to a "total moratorium on outsourcing" -- the practice of having non-GM workers handle some tasks.

The UAW said during the negotiations that job security was among its top priorities.

The contract passed a hurdle earlier Friday when UAW officials from across the U.S. approved the pact.

They will now take it to the 74,000-strong membership for a vote, which Gettelfinger said would wrap up and be counted by Oct. 10.

"It had more than I thought we'd get," said Chris "Tiny" Sherwood, president of a UAW local in Lansing. "I think the membership will buy it."

Gettelfinger said he expects it to pass, although some members have concerns about its terms.

If the company's UAW members ratify the deal, its provisions likely will save the company about $3 billion per year which it can pump into the development of new products, according to several industry analysts.

The contract also includes lower wages for some new hires and offers early retirement and buyout packages to entice higher-paid workers out of those positions, according to a person who was briefed on the contract but requested anonymity because the details haven't been released.

Gettelfinger also said the union had not yet picked the automaker -- Ford Motor or Chrysler --with which it would bargain next.

GM shares were up about 2 percent Friday.

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