updated 6/29/2007 1:45:01 PM ET 2007-06-29T17:45:01

United Auto Workers members have approved a contract agreement with auto parts maker Delphi Corp. that slashes wages and allows some plant closings but preserves jobs for thousands of workers.

The ratification comes after two years of contentious negotiations and averts a threatened strike that would have crippled Delphi's former parent, General Motors Corp.

Sixty-eight percent of the workers who voted were in favor of the new four-year pact, while 32 percent were against it, the UAW's leadership said in a statement Friday.

About 17,000 workers at 17 Delphi facilities across the U.S. were eligible to vote on the deal, which cuts wages from $27 per hour for longtime workers to a pay range for everyone that runs from $14 to $18.50.

A total of 11,225 workers turned out for the vote, with 7,613 in favor and 3,612 voting against it, said a local union official who didn't want to be named because the breakdown of the vote had not been released by the international union.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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