United Auto Worker union members ratify a 4-year labor agreement with Ford, with 65% voting in favor.

Last week, the contract appeared in danger of being rejected, but favorable votes at several larger locals this week turned the tide.

“I believe UAW Ford workers understood the importance of each and every vote,” UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles says in a statement.

“That was evident in the higher voter turnout with 85% of the overall membership voting, and at locals like Kansas City, where more than 80% of members voted and more than 90% of those voted in favor of the agreement.”

The deal adds 5,750 new UAW jobs and includes $16 billion in investments by Ford to produce new and upgraded vehicles and components by 2015 at UAW-represented plants.

Of the total investment, $6.3 billion will go directly toward retooling and upgrading plants, the union says.

Jobs, investments and product guarantees:

  • Ford’s Kansas City, MO, assembly plant will benefit from a $1 billion infusion to accommodate production of the Transit commercial van, currently built in Europe.
  • A second shift for F-Series pickup production will be added to the plant next year, and the next-generation F-Series is awarded to the plant, the UAW says.
  • The Louisville, KY, plant will produce the next-generation Ford Escape cross/utility vehicle beginning next year, as well as a new product to be announced at a later date, the union says. Investment at the site is to total $639 million.
  • third shift at the Chicago assembly plant will be added to handle increased production of the Ford Explorer SUV and Taurus fullsize sedan. Police interceptor Tauruses also will be built at the plant. Ford will invest $117 million to handle the increased workload.
  • Kentucky Truck gets the next-generation Super Duty pickup, as well as continuation of the Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition fullsize SUV. An investment of $621 million includes a new press line.

The new labor contract also includes a $6,000 settlement bonus and $7,000 in inflation protection and competitive lump-sum payments over the term of the agreement and a new more transparent and simple profit-sharing plan where workers will receive their first payment averaging $3,700 this year, the union says.

Entry-level wages will be increased to $19.28 over the term of the agreement.