A representative from Chicago’s UAW Local 551 stated that of the 2,317 workers who voted to ratify the new Ford-UAW labor contract, a whopping 77% voted against the new deal. This comes just days after UAW Local 900 in Detroit saw 51% of its members vote against the proposed 4-year contract, meaning that two of Ford’s largest union locals have rejected the tentative deal. The Chicago Local is responsible for the plant that builds popular Ford Explorer and Taurus while those workers in Detroit who turned down the new contract build the popular Ford F150 pickup.
Unlike General Motors and the Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Company workers are not barred from striking as part of a government “bailout” so while GM and Chrysler faced concerns over the new labor contract with the UAW, only Ford faced the possibility of a strike. Last month, locals in Detroit and Chicago (among others) voted to authorize a strike and the Chicago group went so far as to post the “strike pay” information on their website. Many believed that this was simply a bargaining tool by the UAW to show that the workers were willing to go on strike but the fact that the groups in the Motor City and the Windy City have declined the new contract may edge Ford’s union laborers towards setting up picket lines.
The tentative agreement between Ford Motor Company and the UAW is expected to be voted on by the various locals through October 18th and with two major groups of Ford workers voting against the ratification of the new 4-year contract, it will be interesting to see if the other workers around the country vote positively enough to overshadow those who have voted against it. Should the majority of Ford UAW workers around the US vote the new deal down, the Motor Company and the UAW negotiators will have to head back to the drawing board in an effort to reach a deal that pleases the workers. Reports indicate that while Ford workers are receiving a bigger increase in benefits than GM or Chrysler, workers are upset about the massive bonuses paid to upper management like Bill Ford Jr. and Alan Mulally – especially in comparison to the bonuses offered to the workers over the same period of time.
TorqueNews.com will continue covering the UAW contract proceedings, bringing you any breaking news as it becomes available!
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