The new proposed Ford UAW labor agreement is up to a vote, which started today at a handful of plants. It is expected to carry on into next week, reports the Detroit Free Press, as all 52,900 or so Ford UAW workers weigh-in on the tentative contract.
Ford is the last of the “Big Three” Detroit automakers to vote on a new labor agreement; Fiat Chrysler ratified a new agreement earlier in the year, while General Motors’ tentative contract was turned down by skilled workers, and awaits intervention from UAW leadership.
One key focal point for the Ford UAW labor agreement was securing new product for the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan (Local 900) in the wake of the news that the Focus and C-MAX models would both be shifted elsewhere in 2018. In their stead, Ford has pledged a $700 million investment in the plant, along with new models; rumor has it that these may include a new Ford Ranger mid-size pickup and a revival of the Ford Bronco SUV.
But not all is peachy, with the Detroit Free Press reporting that Ford UAW workers at the automaker’s Forging and Stamping Plants in Woodhaven (Michigan), along with those at Rawsonville Parts in Ypsilanti (Michigan), and Sterling Axle in Sterling Heights (Michigan) have been critical of their treatment as workers of components facilities. That entitles them to lower wages which max out at $19.86 per hour.
Workers from those plants staged a peaceful demonstration outside Local 228 earlier in the day.
In total, the new Ford UAW agreement pledges $9 billion in investments over the next four years, with $4.8 billion (more than half) going to facilities within the state of Michigan.