Ford union members approve the UAW agreement, concluding historic talks with Detroit automakers

Ford union members approve the UAW agreement | Image Credit: 11alive.com
Ford union members approve the UAW agreement | Image Credit: 11alive.com

Important Facts

  • A new labor contract with Ford Motor has been adopted by United Auto Workers members; most Ford plants approved the agreement, which provides at least 25% salary increases, similar to agreements with GM and Stellantis.
  • The tentative agreements struck by the union and the automakers put a stop to almost six weeks of UAW targeted strikes, and the contract ratifications followed shortly after.

DETROIT — The United Auto Workers and Detroit manufacturers engaged in difficult contract discussions, which came to an end on Friday when union members at Ford Motor accepted a provisional deal.

According to early voting results released by the union on Friday, workers at Stellantis and General Motors barely ratified a deal on Thursday, leaving Ford-UAW as the final of the manufacturers to ratify their arrangement.

68.2% of the approximately 35,000 Ford autoworkers who cast ballots in favor of the Ford contract endorsed the UAW’s vote tracker, which is still pending. A few smaller locations were left for the final voting, but the workforce at those locations is insufficient to make up for the gap of more than 12,600 votes.

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As of early Friday afternoon, local UAW chapters representing every Ford plant—aside from the automaker’s vast Kentucky Truck Plant and a tiny components operation in Florida—had voted in support of the agreement. According to the union’s vote tracker, the Dearborn Truck facility in Michigan was the facility that gave ratification the extra push, with almost 2,700 members voting in favor of the agreement by 78.7%.

Requests for comments were not immediately answered by Ford or the UAW.

The tentative agreements struck by the union and the automakers put a stop to almost six weeks of UAW targeted strikes, and the contract ratifications followed shortly after. Starting on September 15, the strikes featured planned work stoppages that spread to more plants in an effort to put further pressure on the automakers.

Hourly workers who cast ballots at Stellantis indicated 68.4% support, according to preliminary statistics. 54.7% of voters at GM approved the proposal.

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The voting was closer for GM partly because of the makeup of the company’s personnel. When compared to its competitors across town, the carmaker has the greatest share of conventional labor. These employees have expressed dissatisfaction with the salary increases provided by the agreements, citing them as being lower than those given to more recent recruits. They also have complaints about retirement benefits and pension contributions.

As pledged by UAW President Shawn Fain, who took over as union leader in March, the agreements established a record for the union, which during the negotiations was significantly more combative and strategic than in previous years.

The agreements include the reinstatement of cost-of-living adjustments, at least 25% pay increases, and other economic benefits. According to the union, the enhancements deliver larger base salary increases than workers have gotten in the previous 22 years and are worth at more than four times the benefits from the 2019 deal.

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The union and Fain saw the settlements and the resulting financial advantages as beneficial to their attempts to expand the union’s membership by organizing at other nonunion automakers operating in the United States and adding future employment, such those at battery facilities.

The contracts mark the upper limit of anticipated increases in labor expenses for the corporations and their investors.

If approved by members, the UAW agreement, according to Ford CFO John Lawler, would increase expenses per built vehicle by $850 to $900. He declared that in order to make up for the extra expenses and meet its previously stated goals for profitability, Ford will endeavor to “found productivity and efficiency and cost savings throughout the firm.”

Source:
https://www.cnbc.com/2023/11/17/uaw-ford-workers-ratify-new-contract.html


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