(WHAS11) - The United Auto Workers Union is urging Ford workers to approve contract concessions, saying otherwise, the automaker won't survive.
UAW president Ron Gettelfinger wrote a letter to Ford's 42,000 hourly workers, recommending they vote for the new deal.
In negotiations with Ford, the UAW agreed to give up cost of living pay raises and cash bonuses.
More buyouts and early retirement packages will be offered to cut jobs.
Gettelfinger says the union was able to preserve base pay, keep current health benefits and pensions and keep plants open.
Ford says it will try to save money by cutting the salaries of the automaker's top two executives. CEO Alan Mulally and Executive Chairman Bill Ford, junior will each see their salaries cut by 30% for this year and next year.
Ford is also eliminating this year's bonuses for salaried employees and senior executives and the board of directors won't receive any kind of cash compensation this year.