Amid ongoing supply chain issues and the dawn of the electrification era, the automotive industry has undergone some major changes in recent years, all of which figure to have a major impact on the United Auto Workers union (UAW), which has more represented Ford employees than any other automaker. Recently, the UAW has come out against the Biden Administration’s plan to extend EV tax credits to other countries, called on the industry to cut ties with Chinese forced labor, and is looking to unionize future battery plants like Ford BlueOval Battery Park Michigan, particularly as the future of some plants remains in doubt amid the EV transition. Now, it looks like upcoming contract talks between Ford and the UAW are poised to get pretty ugly, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“It’s a new day in the UAW,” said new president Shawn Fain, who recently unseated former union head Ray Curry in a hotly contested runoff election. “We’re here to come together to ready ourselves for the war against our one and only true enemy – multibillion-dollar corporations and employers who refuse to give our members their fair share.”
Fain’s campaign centered around using more aggressive tactics during negotiations with automakers, including a possible restructuring, as well as a broader focus on both human and worker rights. Among his chief focuses, Fain plans to fight plant closures, improve health care, fortify retirement benefits, and eliminate compensation tiers.
“Our union is moving from rights on paper to rights in action,” Fain said. “Our membership’s fed up. They’re fed up with the status quo.” The new UAW president also stated that the union’s members deserve “their share” and added that the organization would “use every resource we have” to make that happen.
We’ll have more on these upcoming negotiators soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.
Massive EV losses by Ford are not sustainable. The hope/belief this will change in the near future may depend upon significant sales increases EV. Does Ford have the capacity and supply items to produce a greater number of EV. If not, workforce numbers are going to take a hit. The union is going to be depent upon Ford’s ability to reverse fi ancial losses.
Yep, until Ford shows their projected 8% EV margins by EOY 2026, the UAW is going to have a tough time negotiating for higher wages. Ultimately, with the planned reduced complexity and simplification of EV platforms, I see lots more automation in the near future, so the union better hope for EV growth to offset this with volume, and more new plants like Blue Oval City.
Ford’s price gouging will now come back to haunt them. The union wants a chunk of those big profits and I don’t think they will back down. Workers around the world are tired and squeezed. This will be a rough fight.
Big profits? On the corporate level they don’t exist (yet).
Completely financially ready for an extended strike. Also a skilled trade and in demand for $8-10 an hour over my current wage. If it doesn’t pan out, time to go. Hope not, like working there. Lots of good friends made over last 20 years.
Just out of curiosity, with automotive already paying far more than other industries, where do you think you’re going to go to get a $10/hr raise? Cars are already unaffordable for most people at the current wage costs.
They don’t pay “far more” where you get that from?
Automotive manufacturer’s jobs has always historically had much better wages and benefits than comparable jobs. Even in the 70’s at AMC in Kenosha, WI we had the best of both, even though the ending of the company was in sight. Which I’m sure helped quicken this. And through it all the union never once blinked.
Line workers start off at like $16 an hour. They work temp employees 60 hours a week with no benefits . And skilled trades are way underpaid for the skills needed . Prices of vehicles have sky rockets while labor has went down the last three years and the people that did get a raise was only $1 in the last 3 years. You are apparently extremely clueless. Trades are learning and doing way more for zero more pay . Things need to change. More skills for more pay. Period
I think it’s going to be “adios” then!
Ford will be bankrupt going all in on EV when nobody wants them.
Ford has bent over backwards to give the UAW a seat at the table, and this moron is calling them the “enemy “. That’s productive, right? Also, one has to wonder about the role of the workers in Ford’s unending stream of recalls.
Quality issues are not the workers’ fault, it is management’s
So management is building the vehicles now? Interesting. I’ve been in the River Rouge plant a couple of times and it looked to me like union labor was doing that work.
You need to study the works of Edward Demming.
Your interpretation of Dr Demming is both right and wrong.
The everything good comes from labor, everything bad comes from management theme is to be used as a thought starter for management. It’s not a maxim or end goal in itself.
Fact is that regardless of a management’s commitment to quality, there will always be defects in all work that can be reduced and minimized but it remains unavoidable.
In small scale batches of defects it is quite possible that those closest to that defective output were responsible; because folks do make mistakes.
Ford year over year seeks out cheaper and cheaper part suppliers! Guess what they get…yep poor quality parts, tons of rejects not made to spec. That is the cause of thevast majority of recalls and customer dissatisfaction!
So true! The last truck I purchased was a Ford F-150, it also will be my last Ford due to poor quality and unconcerned Ford Co. Problem after problem no thanks!
No management is running the lines faster than the in station time needed to adequately install the part, QA it, error proof it and send it.
99% of the time quality issues come from supplier parts. Workers assembly what they are given. Workers have no input on where parts are sourced from and considering all of the Big 3 source at the absolute cheapest rate it’s no wonder there are quality issues.
Auto workers do not make all the parts. Less than 50% But anything fails it the Unions fault.
Build quality issues are directly related to assembly which included the workers’ efforts.
Only in part. Some is related to poor design.
As I said above 99% of any issues come from either 1) supplier parts or 2) engineering mistakes, neither of which line workers have any input over. Line workers build with what they are given. If a batch of parts is out of spec or defective typically it’s not known until the vehicle is assembled and off the line. I’m not saying it’s never bad assembly. I know things get missed. But that happens across all manufacturing regardless of the product. But overwhelmingly the quality issues from the Big 3 are generated from parts the company sources are the absolutely cheapest rate.
Here’s a thought – how about the Big Three auto companies lock out the UAW and go non-union ! Might as well take a big hit now and force the issue on controlling their future costs for labor. I can do without a new car for the next year or two, maybe buy some shares in Carvana and enjoy my retirement. I agree, this moron calling Ford the enemy seems to be mostly about ego and does little to serve his membership.
That idea is ridiculous.
They’d lose billions!!!
If they could they would have by now.
They better build in some significant QC accountability requirements for every single UAW worker. What the UAW has allowed to happen at several plants is disgusting. The Chicago Assembly is the worst of all hence the massive recalls and issues with the current Explorer. UAW members at Chicago Assembly were sabotaging Police vehicles after several large newsworthy political incidents. This behaviour must be eradicated with immediate action by Ford and the UAW. Go Woke Go Broke!
Nob to my knowledge, the sabotage theme is right wing disinformation.
If you have reliable sources please cite them.
I have no news articles to prove this but I was a part of the team reworking the vehicles from Chicago. I seen vehicles that had gloves shoved in the exhaust and then duck taped shut. Missing bolt or parts for that matter even. Everything on the production line is pretty well dummy proof if you miss a bolt the line stops. You can send it out with a concern meaning it’s noted in the computer system this or that was missing or this was over or under tightened. Technically the vehicle is not supposed to leave the building with any of those concerns open. Employees with proper clearance can clear the concerns out of computer. I have seen management use employees login info to clear unfixed issues out. by doing so they are saying they know it’s good either fixed or they seen the part was installed.
As someone that was working on the improperly assembled vehicles it definitely appeared as though some of the things where intentional or at the very least careless. As for sabotage police vehicles I didn’t see the people doing it but working on the vehicles after being assembled. It definitely appeared like things were intentionally done. Reworking the police vehicles was taking so long they had calls from sheriffs departments threatening to pull there contracts if they didn’t get there cars now.
will be interesting to watch and see if a compromise can be reached between the wage increases and unionization of the new EV plants. That seems to be Ford’s best bargaining chip.
I don’t think these two things are that easy to couple because UAW uses pattern bargaining.
The reason Ford products are so bad who is building them uaw need I say anything else!
No. Your ignorance speaks for itself.
Actually, the real ignorance is all too easy to see. When a Union president calls the company that is providing families with a good living “the enemy”, one can see it plainly. I worked as a union member for 20 years in the Aluminim industry. Our union had a similar approach to management. Eventually, management closed our plant and moved it to Texas. Best thing that ever happened to me as it allowed me to go to college and get a Biology degree that I used very well. I just retired after 22 years as a Pharmaceutical Microbiologist and Development Scientist. Having 20 years of experience as both a Union worker and a Science based White Collar employee gives me a unique perspective to draw on. My time in the last 22 years was far more enjoyable and rewarding than those I spent in the Union environment. Unions were once very necessary to end unsafe working conditions and mistreatment of employees. They are becoming dinosaurs because of the ever increasing animosity towards the employers providing them with a very good living.
I tend to agree with you on much of what you said.
Having worked on both sides of the line (union/management) I to have a tactile understanding of the differences.
The combative union rhetoric is ‘so out of touch’ with today.
I feel sorry for workers caught in the middle of this ugly war of words… if it is so bad… leave and find a new job rather than bash the one you have and presumably want to keep.
I understand the benefits of a skilled union workforce, for workers and companies.
I don’t support stupid union leadership comments and behaviors that ignore the times we live in and the changes coming to the whole industry.
The union members would be better served if their leadership took a ‘partnership position’ with Ford and pushed to be an industry leader again.
The comments on the part of the new UAW pres were less than helpful and out of touch. That being said, I would like to see ford fill up some of their underutilized/idled plants.
Enjoyable and rewarding … well yes, two different working environments that are poor comparators man.
Employing them with a good living? You think $16 an hour is a good living? Delusional you are. 😅😅😅
Correct, the lack of punctuation says it all.
Please Chuck, do say nothing else because your comment is simply silly.
Those workers just assemble what’s in front of them, they don’t engineer the cars don’t test fit parts, get no say in how things are assembled.
You ever worked in any auto assembly plant at all!?
“We’re here to come together to ready ourselves for the war against our one and only true enemy – multibillion-dollar corporations and employers who refuse to give our members their fair share.” Wow talk about attitude!! Why are you working for “the enemy”. Go find a friendly communist company to work for 🙄
Hello everyone. I am a union worker. We are working with old and equated equipment. Where I am at we have welding machines from the 1970s. We don’t seem to have a problem putting millions of dollars into offices chairs and computers. But out here on the floor I have been fighting to get my team up to date welding machines. From what I can see everything is getting shipped out and we are putting our name on someone else’s work. Until we bring these projects back in house where we can become accountable for what we produce I don’t see things changing. You have to have some skin in the game to be held responsible. I am thankful to have this job. And I love Ford Motor Company. But until they start listening to the workers we are always going to be divided. Bless you all and have a nice day.
Just to be clear, you’re not working for Ford, right,
antiquated. Sorry I should have proof read this.
While in college part time I took a full time job at the USPS for 7 years back in the mid 70s. I was shocked at the open animosity between union reps and first level management. In a city the size of Dallas the Postmaster never showed in face in a facility that had over 2000 employees. He must have been scared too or above being seen outside of his oak wall paneled office and deep pile cut carpet. We were paid about three times as much as someone in a private company. I was happy to get such a good paying job while going thru college. There was plenty to complain about, but I signed up for it and could leave at any time. As the previous poster said, Unions were once necessary to protect workers from extreme abuse, but now not so much.
Just what we need. A union jacking up the cost of employees to the point of more automation, overseas trading, manufacturing leading to reduced quality and more recalls for correction. When will we learn?
I’m union steel worker. It is a joke how unions portrayed the employer as the enemy being they are the one pay you, the great pay and benefits. The unions the one that the employees pay where hundreds of employees get to sit in a fancy office and or sit at the facility and be grievers in assistance and do nothing when there’s actually a problem. Except try and blame the company when the company’s provided everything. It’s the actual union that’s not provided the assistance or done their job correctly. I also worked at Subaru automotive which is non-union and it was fantastic to work for they took care of you and they built a quality product. The recalls and quality is 100% solely on the people on the assembly for someone to say it’s management that’s simply ignorant and stupid.. some things might be management. The wrong parts might have came in or vice versa but to simply always say it’s management is just so outdated. Management is there to do the same thing. We are cash a check go home and not have to deal with pain in the @ss bosses or pain in the @ss employee and sit there and think that they’re so evil. I buy nothing but Ford’s and I do not see how it’s even financially sustainable for them to pay 8 to $10 more an hour. That is crazy and being that Ford has had no crazy profits. The dealerships have oh hell yeah because they’re marking up vehicles Ford doesn’t see any of that. I’m very interested to see what happens. I am all for Ford locking them out and people saying I’m ready for extended. I want to see a 2-year lockout or move down south. unions are the ones pushing companies overseas. With their demand for the president, vice president and all the other goofballs I get to sit at the union hall and get paid 40 hours a week. Plus they get to steal from all the union workers pay to the union. No wonder these companies can’t be competitive. My company is dying and we’re getting the straight slaughtered by Nucor. Why? Because modernization new thoughts and willing for change the union constantly fights change and doesn’t want any automation.
Skilled trades are easily $10 an hour underpaid. Line workers start out at like $17 an hour and temps make the same or less and work 69 hours a week and get zero benefits . Should educate yourself before speaking .
“recalls and quality is 100% solely on the people on the assembly for someone to say it’s management that’s simply ignorant and stupid.. ”
So you mean to tell me if there were bad product coming off the line, Subaru management would just let it go since it “is solely on the people on the assembly!” ? The philosophy, rules, and accountability for any organization starts and ends with management.
So I am responsible for quality that a bad part made by the supplier?
It’s the parts from suppliers that are bad and yes management doesn’t want to shut the line down even when workers tell them the parts are bad. Not very bright are you?
Back to your corner cupcake. Line workers get paid trash now. Like 30k to 50k a year.
People flapping their gums without any research. First, most workers aren’t being paid full union wages. More than half are in progression and if you think they we are lazy, you’re an idiot. We work very hard, sacrificing our bodies daily. Most long term workers have chronic pain. We work in 90 deg. temps..
Now for quality. Just simply look at the nature of the recalls and its obvious that the problem is NOT Ford worker quality. Most of the recalls are from suppliers, faulty parts and engineering/design. There are many checks built in to make sure that workers have assembled properly. The avg worker is making $35,000–and the higher tiers $55,000. You think that’s over paid?!?!
I agree that Ford shouldnt be considered our enemy, but when you are negotiating for the quality of life you are going to live at, you better be treat them as the enemy. You can shake hands after negotiating.
I have never bought a vehicle made in a non-union plant. I have also worked in many domestic OEM plants and I can attest that the vast majority of the people who work in those plants are hardworking and dedicated. I would venture to say the average UAW/UNIFOR plant has no more screwups than any other organization.
This inflation has eaten up a lot of my pay increases. It takes a while to get to a living wage. Over time is hard to get so that hurts us too