Gary Jones, president of UAW International, (left) and Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor, hand-greeted July 15, 2019 at Ford World Headquarters to begin negotiations for a new contract.
DETROIT – Members of United Auto Workers have approved a new four-year deal with Ford Motor, the union announced Friday night.
The contract was supported by 56.3% of Ford members who voted, according to the UAW.
The agreement requires Ford to invest more than $ 6 billion in its US manufacturing operations and create or maintain 8,500 US jobs, while allowing the automaker to shut down a Michigan plant.
The company also agreed to pay $ 9,000 ratification bonuses for full-time workers and $ 3,500 ratification bonuses for temporary employees.
Acting UAW President Rory Gamble, who oversees the union's Ford workers, called the deal "a life-changing contract for many" by the automaker's roughly 55,000 ranking members.
"Ford's commitment to job security and assembly in the United States is a model for American manufacturers," Gamble said in a release Friday night.
Gamble assumed responsibility for the union after UAW President Gary Jones took leave of absence on November 3, days after being involved in a federal corruption investigation into the union. Jones, whose home in Michigan was attacked by federal agents in August, is not charged by federal prosecutors.
Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of Automotive, said the company was "pleased" that it was able to reach a "deal quickly with UAW without a costly disruption in production."
"This deal helps Ford strengthen our competitiveness and protect well-paid production jobs, "he said in a release.
Ford's agreement follows the union that ratified a deal with General Motors after a 40-day strike that is expected to cost the car manufacturer up to $ 4 billion in adjusted earnings before interest and taxes in 201
Ford's deal mirrored GM's deal, which  included 3% lifts or 4% lump sum bonuses each year of the contract, keeping health care expenses of about 3% and a way for temporary workers to become full-time employees.
The union will now turn its attention to Fiat Chrysler, the last Detroit automakers to negotiate for 2019.
UAW's discussions with Fiat Chrysler are expected to be more contentious than those with Ford amid a federal trade union corruption probe that started with the Italian-American carmaker. There is also uncertainty about the company's future in the midst of a planned merger with French carmaker PSA Group.