The United Auto Workers union and Ford have made “significant progress” as collective bargaining continues with the Big Three. The union said earlier this week it would direct more of its members to strike Friday at noon if it does not reach a deal with Ford, General Motors and/or Stellantis
According to Reuters, the UAW said it would not target additional plants if it makes significant progress in its contract negotiations with the Big Three.
“We are NOT done at Ford. We still have serious issues to work through. But we do want to recognize that Ford is serious about reaching a deal,” the UAW said in a statement Friday.
According to the UAW, here’s where its labor negotiations with Ford currently stand:
- Ford agreed to end a wage tier for Rawsonville Components and Sterling Axle employees in Sterling Heights, Michigan, and provide them with the same wage scale as assembly workers.
- The automaker agreed to reinstate cost-of-living adjustments.
- UAW members will get up to two years of “income security” and healthcare if Ford lays off employees, including temporary workers, indefinitely.
- Ford agreed to a profit-sharing formula that would have resulted in a 13.3% increase in payouts for the average employee in 2022.
- The automaker will immediately convert all current temporary workers to full employees.
- All temporary workers will get profit sharing after 90 days on the job, with no concessions.
“Although we are making progress in some areas, we still have significant gaps to close on the key economic issues. In the end, the issues are interconnected and must work within an overall agreement that supports our mutual success,” Ford said in a statement Friday.
As a result of the progress, the UAW will not target additional Ford plants.
But the union said its members would strike GM and Stellantis at an additional 38 locations in 20 states starting at noon Friday.
About 5,600 unionized autoworkers employed by GM and Stellantis will join roughly 12,700 members on strike at GM’s Wentzville Assembly Plant in Missouri that builds the Chevrolet Canyon and GMC Canyon pickup trucks; the Stellantis Toledo Assembly Complex, which makes the Jeep Wrangler; and Ford’s Michigan facility where the automaker assembles the Ford Bronco SUV and Ranger pickup.
The UAW may use an agreement with Ford as leverage in its talks with GM and Stellantis. The UAW has used pattern bargaining for decades in its contract negotiations with the Big Three.
Ford is under immense pressure to reach a deal, as Barclays analysts predicted this week that the UAW would strike next at one of Ford’s plants that assembles its popular F-Series pickups, such as its Kentucky Truck Plant, which builds the F-250–F-550 Super Duty trucks and Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs. A strike at Ford’s Kentucky assembly plant or others could disrupt production of some of Ford’s most profitable vehicles. The Kentucky plant employs around 8,711 hourly workers.