Ford Will Be Next to Negotiate with UAW

Ford is the weakest of the three Detroit automakers. It suffered deeper U.S. sales declines this year than rivals General Motors and Chrysler, and doesn't expect to be profitable until 2009. Ford has plans to close 16 facilities by 2012. With almost 60,000 workers, Ford is only a little smaller than GM. But GM was willing to bargain on health care with the UAW. It agreed to increase retiree pensions because it had a pension surplus last year. Not so for Ford. Its own pension plan is under funded by about $560 million dollars. That's likely to make Ford the toughest bargainer yet.

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