Labor deal reached: UAW Ford Contract

Published: November 13, 2015

Labor deal reached: UAW Ford Contract, Voting gets underway at some Ford UAW locals Thursday and will continue through next week as 52,900 workers decide whether to ratify the tentative agreement reached last Friday.

Ford is the last of the three Detroit automakers to reach an agreement in a process that has gone on for months. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was first to reach and ratify a new four-year contract. General Motors workers voted on an agreement as well but ratification has been delayed because skilled workers turned it down and leadership is determining if the pact should pass based on why they voted no and the fact that production workers voted in favor. A final decision could be announced Thursday.

Ford is last to bat. Among the first workers to cast votes are members of Local 900 who work at the Michigan Assembly Plant. Securing new future products for the Wayne, Mich., plant was a priority in talks because the automaker plans to stop making the Ford Focus and C-Max families of vehicles there in 2018.

The new contract includes a $700-million investment at Michigan Assembly and promises of future products. Sources have said they include a new Ranger small pickup to return to the North American market in 2018, followed potentially by the return of the Ford Bronco SUV by 2020.

The results of Michigan Assembly voting are expected to be released Friday, and officials are confident it will pass.

Among other Michigan plants, members of Local 600 at the Rouge complex, which includes Dearborn Assembly (F-150) as well as Dearborn Diversified, Stamping, Engine and Tool and Die, have not said when they will hold their vote.

Flat Rock Assembly workers at Local 3000 will hold their information meeting Thursday but will not vote until Nov. 18.

Workers in Woodhaven have information meetings Thursday and vote Friday. The Woodhaven stamping plant had been slated to close next year but will stay open, changing its name to Woodhaven hot metal forming plant to reflect a $300-million investment to work with new metals and processes.

Workers in Woodhaven, Rawsonville and the Sterling Axle plant have been vocal about the fact they are categorized as components facilities and thus subject to lower wage rates that only increase to $19.86 an hour.

Workers on Facebook have called for a peaceful demonstration Thursday at 9 a.m. at the UAW Local 228 union hall at Sterling Heights Axle prior to voting on Friday.

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