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UAW union leaders recommend approval of Ford labor deal

DETROIT, Nov 1 (Reuters) - United Auto Workers leaders from Ford Motor Co's U.S. plants on Friday recommended approval of a tentative labor agreement that would allow the No. 2 U.S. automaker avoid a strike like the one that cost its larger rival General Motors Co about $3 billion.

The union turned to Ford to negotiate a new four-year agreement after ratifying a contract last week with GM following a 40-day U.S. strike that shut down almost all of that company's North American operations. Ford and the UAW quickly reached a tentative deal on Wednesday.

The deal now must be ratified by the 55,000 UAW workers at Ford, with voting running through Nov. 15. While GM's deal was approved, ratification is not a sure thing, as union members at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV in 2015 rejected the first version of a contract. (Reporting by Ben Klayman and Nick Carey; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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