UAW workers ratify contracts with Ford, Detroit Axle, General Dynamics

UAW workers ratify contracts with Ford, Detroit Axle, General Dynamics

With GM and Ford deals completed, the union will begin bargaining with Fiat Chrysler.

November 19, 2019

Cleveland, Ohio – Ford Motor Co. workers, by a 56/44 margin, approved their new contract between the automaker and the United Auto Workers, clearing the way for $9,000 signing bonuses and major investments in several plants.

“Every Ford employee and temporary employee will be at the top-rate for full-time status at the end of this four-year agreement,” said Acting UAW President Rory Gamble, who is director of the UAW Ford Department. “This is a life changing contract for many and provides a template for all future Ford UAW members to a full-time, top-rate status. There will be no more permanent temporary situations and no more permanent tiers.”

“We are pleased that we were able to reach an agreement quickly with the UAW without a costly disruption to production,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president, Automotive. “This deal helps Ford enhance our competitiveness and protect good-paying manufacturing jobs. Working with the UAW, we have added flexibility to our operations while keeping labor costs in line with projected U.S. manufacturing labor inflation costs and still rewarded our workers for their important contributions to the company.”

The deal calls for about $6 billion in investments in Ford plants:

  • Michigan Assembly Plant: $1.1 billion
  • Kentucky Truck Plant: $1 billion
  • Ohio Assembly Plant: $900 million
  • Dearborn (Michigan) Truck Plant: $700 million
  • Kansas City Assembly Plant: $400 million
  • Van Dyke (Michigan) Transmission: $400 million
  • Flat Rock (Michigan) Assembly Plant: $250 million
  • Chicago (Illinois) Assembly Plant: $200 million
  • Cleveland (Ohio) Engine: $150 million
  • Sterling (Michigan) Axle: $150 million
  • Sharonville (Ohio) Transmission: $130 million
  • Louisville (Kentucky) Assembly Plant: $100 million
  • Dearborn Engine: $100 million
  • Dearborn Stamping: $100 million
  • Livonia (Michigan) Transmission: $100 million
  • Lima (Ohio) Engine: $80 million
  • Rawsonville (Michigan) Transmission: $60 million
  • Buffalo (New York) Stamping: $60 million
  • Woodhaven (Michigan) Stamping: $40 million

Many of those investments are in electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids, including:

  • Chicago Assembly: hybrid Explorer SUV
  • Dearborn Assembly: hybrid, EV F-150 pickups
  • Kansas City Assembly: EV Transit
  • Louisville Assembly Plant: hybrid, plug-in hybrid Escape small SUVs, PHEV Lincoln Corsair
  • Livonia Transmission: EV gears

Ford workers agreed to the deal without a strike. At GM, workers walked off of assembly lines for six weeks, winning larger signing bonuses, slightly more in investment pledges, but more plant closures.

With the Ford and GM deals done, UAW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) final negotiations take place this week.

In addition to deals with Ford, the UAW ratified two others contracts over the weekend.

General Dynamics Land Systems Corp. workers who make tanks and other military vehicles, approved a deal Saturday by a 58/42 margin.

Key gains from the contract include protecting job security, wages, and benefits. General Dynamics is the fifth largest defense contractor in the United States and has UAW members at manufacturing plants in Lima, Ohio; Scranton, Pennsylvania; and Sterling Heights, Michigan.

And, UAW Local 163 members at Detroit Axle ratified their new five-year agreement with 87% of the membership voting in favor of ratification.

The agreement secures the assignment of a critical Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) electric truck component to the union shop.

“This agreement recognizes the invaluable contribution our UAW members make, every day, to this company,” said UAW Secretary-Treasurer Ray Curry. “With this strong agreement in place, we now look to a bright future.”

The deal includes raises and a $4,000 signing bonus.

About the author: Robert Schoenberger is the editor of Today's Motor Vehicles and a contributor to Today's Medical Developments and Aerospace Manufacturing and Design. He has written about the automotive industry for more than 19 years at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio; The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky; and The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi.