Another Ford F-Series plant, new Escape plant vote to strike
This past weekend, workers at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant voted in favor of the strike and in the next day, the final tally from the UAW members at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Assembly Plant is expected to come in – also heavily in favor of the strike. Once the votes are counted up from Dearborn and the official word is made, that means that Ford’s three major truck assembly plants are threatening to strike now that the workers in Louisville have cast their votes. Should the UAW make good on these threats and go on strike, it could cripple the production of the Ford F-Series – the company’s bestselling model – which accounts for roughly 25% of their total company sales in the US this year.
The Louisville Kentucky truck plant is responsible for the Ford Super Duty (shown on the right) as well as the Expedition and Lincoln Navigator while the other plant, which previously built the Ford Ranger, is being retooled to build the next generation of the popular Ford Escape SUV. Like UAW workers at the other Ford plants, they were forced to make concessions during the recession in 2009 to help keep the company afloat while General Motors and Chrysler both were forced into bankruptcy. Among those concessions were the removal of a “cost of living” increase each year along with college assistance funds and most workers are quick to point out that they have not had a raise in some time – even though the white collar execs have been granted millions in bonuses as the company (especially Ford) has climbed out of the recession.
The fact that the Louisville Ford plants voted in favor of a strike does not guarantee that they will walk out but the organized vote to strike by the major truck facilities shows the company that those employees – who build the bestselling vehicle in the US – are not afraid to go on strike. The current Ford-UAW contract expires on September 14th and in voting in favor of the strike, the UAW hopes to force Ford’s hand to hurry contract talks prior to the current contract expiring. While most of the UAW members around the country employed by Ford would likely vote in favor of a strike, having the major truck plants threaten to strike is like having your star quarterback tell you that he’s not going to play – so this might just be enough to hurry Ford’s efforts in reaching new contract terms.
Thanks to Jimmy for the heads up on this!
Other Ford News:
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Ford union auto workers vote overwhelmingly to strike
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TorqueNews review of the 2011 Ford F150 FX4 EcoBoost