After six weeks of labor stoppages, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union ended its targeted strike against Ford (as well as General Motors and Stellantis) last fall after the two sides reached a tentative agreement on a new master contract, which was ratified by UAW members a couple of weeks later and those same employees subsequently returned to their work sites. There’s a lot to digest in terms of what this new contract consists of, but we do know that aside from the typical pay raises and retirement benefits boost, this new deal also includes an $8 billion dollar investment on Ford’s part into its plants and products. As it turns out, the UAW also wants FoMoCo to invest in its U.S.-based stamping operations, too.
“The bargaining team continued to voice concerns over lack of investment and utilization of our U.S. stamping operations,” the union said in a statement. “The company recognizes these concerns and has agreed to a new quarterly Joint Leadership meeting that focuses on future investment and product opportunities for our UAW Ford Stamping Facilities.”
This statement obviously leaves quite a bit up in the air, particularly as it relates to what Ford-owned stamping plants in the U.S. might receive a financial boost, as well as which ones may wind up being left as-is. However, one thing that is clear from this statement is the fact that the UAW isn’t happy with Ford’s lack of investments into those facilities over the last several years, and wants to make changes in that regard.
Aside from this development, there are a few interesting tidbits worth noting among this information, including confirmation of a few things that we already knew. For starters, many existing models will continue to be produced at Ford’s facilities in the U.S., while new ones are set to be added in certain locations. This includes a new all-electric pickup, a new EV model at the Louisville plant, and new EV van, while Ford will also be adding a new EV battery pack to its production mix, along with a forged steel crank for the 7.3L engine family, a new power unit, expanded capacity for existing battery packs, and a new hybrid battery, to boot.