Ford Workers Close to Ratifying New Contract
DEARBORN, MI—Ford Motor Co.’s new proposed pact with the United Auto Workers is cruising toward ratification with nearly two-thirds of workers voting in favor of it so far, even winning over factories that face uncertain futures.
Workers at Ford’s Mustang plant in Flat Rock, MI, approved the contract, even though the factory is losing a new electric vehicle as part of the deal, according to a running tally kept informally by the union. Also giving it the green-light: A transmission facility north of Detroit which is taking on hundreds of displaced workers from an engine factory that is closing.
With about half the vote counted, 63 percent of Ford workers have accepted a deal that includes $6 billion in product investments in U.S. facilities, a $9,000 signing bonus and raises that take hourly wages to $32.32 by 2023. Four years ago, Ford had the lowest contract approval ratio of the Detroit Three, with support of less than 52 percent of its workers, and it took an 11th-hour push to avoid rejection.
Ford’s seemingly smooth ratification this time comes after a 40-day strike by the UAW that targeted General Motors Co. and was marked by heated rhetoric on both sides. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV will be up next for negotiations with the union as long as the Ford deal goes through.