UAW ratifies Ford contract with 63% of workers approving

UAW ratifies Ford contract with 63% of workers approving
David Barkholz
Automotive News | October 19, 2011 – 9:36 am EST

DETROIT — UAW-represented workers at Ford Motor Co. have ratified a new four-year contract with the automaker.

The vote was 26,274 to 15,225 among production and skilled trades workers, the UAW said in a statement today. About 41,500 hourly workers are covered by the contract.

The contract contains a $6,000 signing bonus and other lump-sum payments. But Ford was able to prevent an increase in its fixed labor costs, including pay raises for traditional workers or restoration of cost-of-living allowances lost during concessions in 2009.

“I believe UAW Ford workers understood the importance of each and every vote,” UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles, the head of the union’s Ford department, said in a statement.

“That was evident in the high voter turnout with 85 percent of the overall membership voting, and at locals like Kansas City, where more than 80 percent of members voted and more than 90 percent of those voted in favor of the agreement.”

UAW President Bob King has said the agreement will increase Ford’s overall U.S. hourly labor costs by just 1 percent in each of the next four years.

The same is true of a new UAW contract at General Motors for 48,000 workers and one awaiting ratification by Chrysler’s 23,000 hourly workers.

About 65 percent of GM workers voted to ratify an agreement with the automaker last month.

Chrysler’s 23,000 UAW workers are voting on a tentative agreement with the automaker and the results are expected by the end of the month.

The Ford deal, which includes the creation of 5,750 new jobs, is the most generous of the new labor agreements negotiated with Detroit automakers.

GM workers received a $5,000 signing bonus and at least $3,000 more in subsequent years. GM will create 6,400 jobs and reopen an assembly plant in Tennessee.

In addition, Ford and GM will offer financial incentives of $10,000 to $100,000 to entice production and skilled trades workers to retire.

Chrysler has agreed to pay only $1,750 upon ratification. Another $1,750 will be paid when the company meets certain financial targets. Chrysler workers are also eligible for additional annual bonuses of $500 based on vehicle quality and other performance factors.

Chrysler, the weakest of Detroit’s automakers, pledged to add 2,100 new jobs over the next four years.

GM, Ford and Chrysler also agreed to increase pay for entry-level workers by several dollars an hour, but employees hired before 2007 will not receive raises.

PRESS RELEASE: UAW Ford workers ratify contract

For immediate release: Oct. 19, 2011

DETROIT – UAW members at Ford Motor Co. have voted to accept the tentative agreement between the UAW and Ford. The results of voting conducted over the past two weeks were 63 percent in favor of the agreement (22,031) to 37 percent voting against (12,957) among production workers, with skilled trades voting 65 percent in favor (4,243) to 35 percent voting against (2,268). The contract is the second agreement ratified with the domestic automakers in the 2011 auto talks.

“I am pleased with the strong support for this agreement from UAW Ford members. I believe UAW Ford workers understood the importance of each and every vote,” said UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles, who directs the union’s Ford Department. “That was evident in the high voter turnout with 85 percent of the overall membership voting, and at locals like Kansas City, where more than 80 percent of members voted and more than 90 percent of those voted in favor of the agreement,” Settles added.

“Working people in this country are clearly frustrated about the inequity in our society. Our members at Ford are frustrated with the economy, the lack of wage increases over the years, outrageous executive compensation and the immorality of Wall Street. Through this process, we have developed open and honest debate, along with high participation among our members, and we hope to continue with the debate and activism as we move forward to the 2012 federal election, which is critical not just for our members at Ford, but for all working people in the U.S.,” said Settles.

“As the nation’s economy remains stalled and uncertain and its employment rate stagnates, we were able to win an agreement with Ford that will bring auto manufacturing jobs back to the United States from China, Mexico and Japan,” said UAW President Bob King.

“This agreement adds 5,750 new UAW jobs which mean more than 12,000 new jobs in total with jobs previously announced by Ford. Many of these jobs will be added by the end of 2012, and all will be added during the term of the new contract. As a result of these negotiations, the UAW and the domestic automakers announced a total of 20,000 direct manufacturing jobs including the creation of 6,400 jobs at GM and 2,100 at Chrysler. The American auto industry is on its way back,” King added.

The tentative agreement includes $16 billion to produce new and upgraded vehicles and components by 2015, of which $6.3 billion will be invested directly into retooling and upgrading plants.

Jobs, investment and product guarantees in the Ford contract include:

• Flat Rock, Mich., second source for the next generation Fusion and next-generation Mustang.

• Kansas City, Mo., in-source Transit Commercial Van from Europe.

• Louisville, Ky., new unnamed vehicle in addition to 2012 Escape.

• Wayne, Mich., in-source C-Max from Europe in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid models.

• Avon Lake, Ohio, in-source medium truck and frame assembly from Mexico, along with in-source Motorhome Chassis.

In addition to the assembly plants receiving new and in-sourced vehicles, three other assembly plants will receive substantial investment. Ten engine and transmission plants will receive investment, along with three stamping plants. A complete list of plant investment can be found on the UAW’s website.

The contract will also include a $6,000 Settlement Bonus and $7,000 in Inflation Protection and Competitive lump-sum payments over the term of the agreement, a new more transparent and simple profit sharing plan in which workers will receive their first payment averaging $3,700 this year. Entry-Level wages were also increased to $19.28 over the term of the agreement.

Details of the agreement can be found at the union’s website .

The UAW reached a tentative agreement with GM on Sept. 16. The agreement was ratified by UAW members with a 2:1 ratio on Sept. 28. The UAW Ford agreement was reached on Oct. 4, followed by a tentative agreement with Chrysler Group, LLC on Oct. 12. UAW Chrysler locals are conducting informational meetings and ratification votes around the country. Voting for the Chrysler agreement will conclude on Oct. 25, with results announced Oct. 26.

The UAW represents approximately 41,000 hourly and salary workers at 27 Ford assembly and manufacturing facilities in the United States, making vehicles with the Ford and Lincoln brands. The UAW also represents workers at four Automotive Components Holdings Inc. (ACH) plants.

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