On October 29, United Auto Workers (UAW) union leaders gave their approval to a new tentative contract agreement with Ford Motor. This agreement entails a significant $8.1 billion investment in the company’s manufacturing. Meanwhile, negotiations with General Motors (GM) are still ongoing, without a finalized deal.
Under the UAW-Ford contract, workers have the potential to receive up to $70,000 in additional pay over the contract’s 4.5-year duration, in addition to enhanced profit-sharing and retirement contributions. The top hourly wage for workers is expected to rise to $42.60 by 2028, factoring in estimated cost-of-living allowances. The contract also includes $50,000 buyouts for workers and the elimination of all lower-wage tier plants. It offers a $5,000 ratification bonus, special retirement incentives, and a quicker path to the top union pay rate for newly-hired temporary workers. Workers will receive a $1,500 voucher towards a vehicle purchase and increased company contributions for retirement benefits.
Existing Ford temporary workers will transition to permanent employee status, reaching top pay within three years. The contract also allows workers at joint ventures, battery plants, and Ford’s BlueOval city electric vehicle complex in Tennessee to join the union and be covered under the master contract. As part of the investment, Ford plans to introduce electric vehicles (EVs) into its existing assembly plants in Louisville and Ohio. This includes the production of new hybrid models, such as gas-electric hybrid versions of the Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition.
Ford’s CEO, Jim Farley, has underscored the company’s dedication to expanding its hybrid vehicle lineup. Following discussions with local union leaders in Detroit, the UAW (United Auto Workers) has openly shared the terms of its new contract with Ford. This contract is now available for ratification by all union members. UAW leaders face the responsibility of explaining the Ford contract to their members, who will have the final say in voting for its approval. It’s important to note that UAW leaders can no longer take the ratification vote for granted, as there have been instances of contract rejections in the past.
Local union leaders at Stellantis plants are set to travel to Detroit on November 2 before presenting the agreement to the members for ratification. Meanwhile, General Motors (GM) and the UAW are still in ongoing negotiations, and the factors causing their delay in reaching an agreement remain uncertain, despite earlier agreements at Ford and Stellantis (Chrysler’s parent company). One significant issue appears to revolve around retiree pension costs. The earlier agreements resulted in a substantial 25 percent wage increase over the 4.5-year contract for workers and allowed the automakers to resume profitable truck assembly operations.