UAW Workers Ratify New Contract With Ford, Reveal Future Product Plans

Ford workers have ratified the new four-year labor contract between Ford and the United Auto Workers union. Under the new agreement, Ford promises to create 12,000 new jobs in the U.S., part of which will be accomplished by in-sourcing positions from China, Japan, and Mexico.

Early reports indicated that workers at many Ford assembly plants would reject the new deal. However, the UAW reports that 63 percent of production workers and 65 percent of skilled trades workers voted in favor of the contract. More than 90 percent of workers at Ford’s plant in Kansas City voted for the deal.

The agreement affects about 41,000 UAW-represented Ford workers and will lead to $16 billion in investments in U.S. plants. On top of that, workers will receive a $6000 settlement bonus and $7000 in inflation protection over the course of the agreement. A new profit-sharing plan will give workers an average of$3700 by the end of this year, and entry-level hourly wages were raised to $19.28.

“Our agreement is fair to our employees and it improves our competitiveness in the U.S.” Mark Fields, Ford vice president of The Americas, said in a statement.

“We were able to win an agreement with Ford that will bring auto manufacturing jobs back to the United States from China, Mexico, and Japan,” UAW president Bob King said in a statement.

The agreement brings changes to several Ford production facilities. The company will add an additional production shift to meet vehicle demand at Flat Rock, Michigan; Wayne, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; and Louisville; Kentucky. Vehicles built at those plants include the Mustang, Explorer, Escape, and Focus. That move alone adds about 5000 jobs.

Starting in 2013, Ford will begin production of the Transit commercial van in Kansas City, Missouri; until now, the van was not offered in our market. Ford’s plant in Wayne, Michigan will build hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the C-Max minivan, which also was previously a Europe-only vehicle.

Ford’s plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, will provide additional capacity for building the Fusion sedan, and also will produce the next-generation Mustang. And in Louisville, Kentucky, Ford will build a “new unnamed vehicle” alongside the 2012 Escape.

Ford also will move production of the F-650 and F-750 trucks, and F53 and F59 chassis, from Mexico to Avon Lake, Ohio. That results in a $128 million investment in the Ohio plant. Avon Lake will continue to build “certain variations” of Ford’s E-Series van through the end of this decade, but we expect that sales of the Transit will eventually supplant the E-Series.

Sources: Ford, UAW

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