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General Motors Workers Appear Ready to Ratify UAW Labor Agreement

A tentative four-year labor contract between General Motors Co. (GM - Get Report) and the United Auto Workers union appeared headed toward ratification on Thursday, following approval by GM workers at a big factory in Ft. Wayne, Ind., by a 58% margin.

The union has been pushing for ratification following the tentative contract's defeat at several GM plants in early voting. GM's hourly work force of 52,700 has until Saturday to cast their ballots. If the contract passes, the union will begin bargaining with Ford Motor (F - Get Report) , the last of the Big Three Detroit-based automakers this year. Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) workers approved the contract in October.

The union's leadership and the automakers are hoping to avoid a work stoppage, which would be costly to the companies in financial terms and likely hamper...