UAW Ratify New Contract with Ford

DETROIT —United Auto Workers at Ford Motor Company narrowly ratified a new 4-year contract with Detroit’s #2 automaker.

The new Ford pact, from Ford’s biggest plants, in the Dearborn, Mich., came in late on Nov. 20. They pushed it over the top, with 51.4 percent overall.  The plants employ more than 12,300 Ford workers and they voted heavily for the pact.

UAW leaders, including new union President Dennis Williams, faced the same questions from Ford workers that they did from FiatChrysler workers earlier. Those workers had rejected their initial contract, sending negotiators back to bargaining.

The questions revolved around the two-tier pay systems that the Detroit 3 automakers and UAW agreed to at the depths of the Great Recession, when both Chrysler and GM were bankrupt. The systems gave beginning workers half the pay of their more-veteran colleagues.

All three new pacts eventually end the two-tier system, but in the Ford and FiatChrysler cases, the pace of eliminating it was slow enough to produce the Chrysler rejection.

“Our UAW members have ratified the national agreement after a long process and much debate,” Williams said after the Ford pact passed. “The voice of the majority has secured a strong future that will provide job security and economic stability for themselves and their families.”

The union did not release details of the new pact, but workers told local media that it includes 3 percent raises in its first and third years and 4 percent payments in other years. It also closes the gap between the entry-level workers and the veterans.

Source: PAI