UAW-Ford Deal Highlights.

The UAW and Ford’s tentative agreement creates or retains 5,750 newly-announced U.S. jobs, raises entry-level workers’ wages, buys out workers and gives most workers a $6,000 signing bonus, people familiar with the plan told the Free Press.

The agreement raises the hourly wage for workers hired after 2007 to $19.28 by the end of the contract. Those workers currently make about $15.50 an hour. Ford will also offer buyouts of $50,000 to production workers and $100,000 to skilled-trades workers, in an attempt to open jobs for more entry-level employees.

Under the agreement, Ford’s plant in Flat Rock will build the Ford Fusion and continue to build the Ford Mustang, one of the people said. That factory will receive a $500 million investment, providing some job security for its 1,600 hourly workers. The plant will stop production of the Mazda6 in coming months.

Ford also will invest $1 billion at a Kansas City assembly plant, which will build the Transit, Ford’s full-size European van. A $128 million investment will be made in Avon Lake, Ohio, to build medium-duty trucks and motor-home chassis.

If the contract is ratified, workers will receive overtime after they work eight hours in a day, rather than after a 40-hour work week. For instance, Ford could not use a 10-hour/ four-days-a-week work schedule without paying overtime.

The UAW and Ford reached the agreement early this morning after 10 weeks of bargaining, making Ford the second automaker, after General Motors, to reach a new deal with the union.

John Fleming, Ford’s executive vice president of global manufacturing, said Ford is announcing the 5,750 jobs for the first time. The contract also includes 6,250 created or preserved jobs that Ford has already announced. Newly created jobs will go to workers hired at the company’s lower, entry-level wage, he said this morning at a press conference at Ford’s Dearborn headquarters.

UAW President Bob King and Vice President Jimmy Settles plan to present additional details of the agreement at a downtown Detroit press conference later this morning.

The contract would guarantee four $1,500 lump-sum payments, said one of the people familiar with the deal — in total, double the amount General Motors’ workers received in so-called “inflation protection.”
General Motors workers ratified a new four-year agreement with the UAW last week.

GM’s deal is expected to preserve or create 6,400 jobs. It also will provide workers with a $5,000 signing bonus, three $1,000 lump-sum payments, an improved profit-sharing plan and a raise of about $3 per hour for entry-level workers over the life of the contract.

King will have a challenge selling the Ford agreement to workers who expected significantly greater gains than their GM counterparts. They contend they deserve more because Ford did not accept government assistance. As a result Ford UAW workers retained the right to strike. As a condition of the federal aid to GM and Chrysler, workers there gave up the right to strike and face binding arbitration in the case of an impasse.  Source: Brent Snavely & Gregg Gardner, Detroit Free Press.


Posted on October 4, 2011, in Labor Relations and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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