(Official Ford statement)

DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 3 -- The United Auto Workers union (UAW) and Ford have reached a tentative agreement on a four-year national labor contract covering approximately 54,000 represented employees in the United States.

I?d like to take this opportunity to thank UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, UAW Vice President Bob King and the entire UAW national bargaining committee for all of their hard work and professionalism over the past several months. I would also like to thank the Ford bargaining team for its skill and dedication during this complex and challenging set of negotiations.

The agreement is subject to ratification by UAW members. It includes a memorandum of understanding to establish an independent retiree health care trust. Following ratification, implementation of the memorandum of understanding is subject to approval by the courts and satisfactory review of accounting treatment with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Though we will not discuss the specifics of the tentative agreement until after it becomes final, we believe it is fair to our employees and retirees, and paves the way for Ford to increase its competitiveness in the United States.