The United Auto Workers (UAW) strike began at the Ford Michigan Assembly plant back in mid-September, after which it expanded to include the Chicago Assembly plant and Kentucky Assembly plant. However, Ford later reached a tentative deal with the union that includes a massive product investment from the automaker, and a few days later, its Detroit Big Three counterparts, General Motors and Stellantis, followed suit. Regardless, UAW members must still vote to ratify the tentative deal before it can officially take effect, and thus far, that process had been going rather well, with multiple plants doing precisely that. However, now it seems as if this process has hit a bit of a snag after UAW workers at the Kentucky Truck plant and Louisville Assembly plant have rejected the proposed contract.
This news comes to us straight from the UAW Local 862, which posted the results of this vote on Facebook. Only 45 percent of production workers at the Kentucky plant voted in favor of the tentative contract, along with 69 percent of skilled trades workers. This is the first time the majority vote didn’t favor the proposed deal, as the Michigan Assembly plant, Buffalo Stamping plant, Chicago Assembly plant, the Flat Rock Assembly plant, and Kansas City Assembly plant all voted in favor of the contract by a large margin.
At Flat Rock, a total of 66.2 percent of production workers voted in favor of the tentative contract, along with 78.3 percent of skilled trades workers. In Chicago, 55 percent of production workers voted in favor of the tentative agreement, along with 73 percent of skilled trades workers, compared to 62.9 percent of all UAW workers at the Kansas City plant, 78 percent of production workers and 80 percent of skilled trades workers at the Buffalo Stamping plant, and 81 percent of production workers and 90 percent of skilled trades workers at MAP.
The terms of Ford’s tentative agreement with the UAW include a 25 percent general pay increase across the lifespan of the contract, as well as a multi-billion dollar investment on the automaker’s part into its current and future plants and products, plus various other concessions. Additionally, the old eight-year wage progression has been reduced to three years, while those with three or more years of service will automatically be bumped up to top pay if the deal is ratified. Cost of living adjustments will also make a return after they went away back in 2009 during the recession, and temporary employees will become full-time after 90 days of service once/if the deal if ratified, with future temp hires hitting that point in nine months.