Workers at two Michigan plants reject Ford contract

October 11, 2011

Workers at two Michigan plants reject Ford contract

/ The Detroit News

The first major vote by unionized Ford Motor Co. workers on a proposed new contract was narrowly rejected.

Members of UAW Local 900 who work at Michigan Assembly and Wayne Integrated Stamping barely voted down the tentative four-year agreement by 56 votes. Some 2,582 workers voted.

The final count was 51.1 percent against and 48.9 percent in favor, said Local 900 Chairman Bill Johnson.

Michigan Assembly has about 3,200 workers on two shifts and they were promised a third shift next year to make the Ford Focus and C-Max.

But Johnson said workers were already expecting the extra shift so it was not enough to overcome expectations of better compensation than at least $16,700 in bonuses and profit sharing over the life of the contract.

But wage increases were only for entry-level workers.

The numbers did not sit well for workers upset that Ford CEO Alan Mulally got $26.5 million in compensation last year.

“People out here were irate,” Johnson said.

Workers also fear the addition of a third shift will bring in workers from other plants that have higher seniority and that could affect them negatively.

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