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Ford, UAW Preliminary Agreement on Labor Contract


Joel Petrimoulx, director of the Local 22 trade union, says the medical department at Detroit-Hamtramck wants job security, health care and safe conditions.
Detroit Free Press

UAW and Ford Motor Co. reached a proposed tentative labor agreement late Wednesday, the union said.

Local UAW Ford supervisors said they were told to prepare for a UAW National Ford Council meeting in Dearborn on Friday.

Negotiation teams led by Rory Gamble, UAW Vice President and Director of the UAW Ford Department, and Bill Dirksen, Ford's Vice President for Labor, reached agreement quickly, after starting the "serious" discussion Monday on financial issues. [19659005] This agreement will affect the 55,000-hour Ford autoworkers in the United States, most of the domestic automakers.

“Our national dealers selected by their local unions have voted unanimously to recommend the UAW-Ford National Council's proposed tentative agreement, Sa Gamble, in a prepared statement. “Our negotiation team worked diligently during the strike from General Motors to maintain productive negotiations with Ford. The pattern negotiation strategy has been a very effective approach for UAW and its members to secure financial gains around wages, benefits and secured over $ 6 billion in major product investments in US facilities, creating and maintaining over 8,500 jobs for our communities. "

He added," Out of respect for our members, we will refrain from commenting or disclosing all details of the agreement to the UAW-Ford Council leaders meeting and reviewing the details. "

The deal took place in talks at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, after a brutal six-week strike against General Motors.GM and its UAW workers clashed over wage increases, the use of temporary workers and what the company will invest in US facilities during that the four-year period of the contract. ratified Friday.

During pattern negotiations, the GM agreement became a template for talks with Ford and finally Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Health care costs were an important issue, with Ford spending $ 1 billion a year to cover hourly workers. People with knowledge of the talks said from the outset that Ford would not seek to add health care costs to workers or reduce the quality of care, but rather try to creatively contain company costs.

Details of the proposed Ford contract were immediately unavailable. A quick agreement suggests that Ford challenged few of the "pattern" elements that GM had set.

Here are some highlights from the new GM contract:

  • UAW-represented GM workers receive a $ 11,000 ratification bonus. Temporary workers receive $ 4,500.
  • So-called development workers hired after 2007 get a faster path to top pay. Under the previous contract, these workers started at $ 17 an hour, reaching $ 28 / hour after eight years. Under the proposal, it is shortened to four years and the top salary reaches $ 32.32 per hour.
  • Temporary workers, who have been paid $ 15-19 per hour with poorer benefits to regular autoworkers, are given a way to a permanent role as of Jan. 1. Part-time workers get a way to normal status from 2021. These workers also get better paid and unpaid leave.
  • The union has the approval authority and the ability to monitor the number of temporary staff working in the facilities. Furthermore, the company must now have the trade union approval to supplement the workforce for timely, overtime or weekend work in a facility covered by UAW GM's national agreement. The company may use part-time temporary employees only with UAW approval.

UAW officials meet with the press on March 13, 2019 at the Cobo Center before the start of wage negotiations with Detroit 3. Left to right photo: Secretary-Treasurer Ray Curry, President Gary Jones, and Vice President Terry Dittes (top negotiator with GM) , Cindy Estrada (Top Dealer for FCA) and a sitting Rory Gamble (Top Dealer for Ford). (Photo: Phoebe Wall Howard)

Ford, unlike GM, has not closed or threatened to shut down any American plants and has not located high-profile projects outside the United States, as GM had done. Based on interviews with UAW executives and factory workers, Ford was never a strike target.

The union leaders and Ford officially opened discussions on July 15 and have spoken in subcommittees on non-financial issues while the UAW hammered out full agreement with GM.

GM versus Ford

A few weeks ago, in the heat of negotiations with GM, some UAW leaders suggested interrupting talks with GM and turning to Ford would yield better results, saying talks with Ford are expected to involve little drama.

Ford and UAW agreed to focus on issues related to job security, health and safety, attendance and freedom, seniority, retirement and a 401 (k) -like pension program, continuous improvement and joint programs. More info above! UAW workers ratify contract with GM. Here's what's next

More: Ford, UAW dealers meet in Dearborn for "final stretch" of contract calls

Top salary: $ 32.32 an hour

Ford's workforce composition is closer to that of GM, while Fiat Chrysler has more temporary and a higher percentage of development workers with an eight-year "growing up" period for full-time workers to achieve top pay. Overall, the FCA has a younger workforce. The period for reaching the top salary was cut in half to four years in the GM contract, and the top salary was set at $ 32.32.

Harley Shaiken, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley who specializes in labor and the global economy, said: "No doubt, Ford has the best relationship with the UAW for any of the Detroit Three automakers."

Will members approve?

Now the UAW will start the ratification process. Provided Ford workers are OK, the union will then move to Fiat Chrysler to create the third and final four-year labor contract.

With a proposed tentative agreement in hand, the union will call its National Ford Council, which includes all local UAW leaders who will review it and vote to send it to its members. If they do, it will go ahead of Ford's 55,000 UAW members to get a ratification vote.

Ratification is not a typical electoral process. UAW notifies the locals of when to hold meetings that outline the proposal. The local UAW electoral committees then select the voting day and times. The committees match the polls and send the results to UAW International.

Here are the details:

  • Ratification requires 50% of total members plus one.
  • Each local UAW holds information meetings as they choose.
  • Voting is planned and chaired by UAW local election committees.
  • The local UAW halls use paper reconciliations.
  • The local UAW Election Committees count the polls and report the total to the Detroit headquarters.
  • The local electoral committees are politicizing themselves; there is no overall audit of the vote.

2000 jobs + 10,000 temporary workers

Ford contract details are not yet known.

GM shut down three US factories: Lordstown Assembly in Ohio and Warren and Baltimore transmission facilities. It agreed to provide an electric pickup and other electric vehicles to the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly to build. Detroit Hamtramck, which was designated to idle in November, will also build battery modules. The investment there will create around 2000 jobs at full production.

GM gave in to the health care system and agreed not to raise the costs of union members, making it difficult for Ford to address one of the key issues.

GM also created a path for temporary workers to be hired permanently. It is expected that the FCA will withstand that, given the largest number of temporary staff in Detroit Three, of about 10,000.

Big Money

Back in 2015, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles workers received signing bonuses from $ 3,000 to $ 4,000. Ford workers received $ 8,500 in a signing bonus – plus a $ 1,500 profit sharing deduction – to provide Ford workers $ 10,000 upon ratification at the end of 2015.

Contact Phoebe Wall Howard: 3 13-222-6512 or . Follow her on Twitter @phoebesaid . Read more at Ford and sign up for our car newsletter . Free Press columnist Susan Tompor contributed to this report.

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