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Mulally won’t try again for UAW cuts

December 18, 2009

Mulally won’t try again for UAW cuts

By Jere Downs
jdowns@courier-journal.com

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally said the company is “not disadvantaged” compared to its competitors and won’t try again to wrest cost-savings from the United Auto Workers before the current contract expires in 2011.

Asked if the automaker would try again to renegotiate the contract, Mulally told reporters “No.”

“Ford has a history of working cooperatively with the UAW and I expect that to continue,” he added.

UAW members last month overwhelmingly struck down a Ford proposal approved by UAW leadership that would have limited the right to strike, frozen entry level wages and expanded the ranks of new, lower-paid line workers.

Ford had sought the costs savings, arguing that General Motors and Chrysler had gained a cost advantage over Ford by stripping expenses during their bankruptcies.

Mulally spoke to reporters at the former Michigan Truck Plant in Wayne, Mich. The now vacant factory, home until last year to the Expedition that is now assembled at the Kentucky Truck Plant, is undergoing a $500 million renovation to produce the redesigned Ford Focus.

The renovation to produce vehicles on Ford’s global “C-platform” presages the upcoming overhaul of the Louisville Assembly Plant for the same purpose in 2011.

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