New Ford UAW Deal in Jeopardy

The United Auto Workers union is pushing a deal with Ford that would reorganize the workers’ contracts with the major automaker. The new agreement would give workers a number of benefits and lead to more long-term investment in domestic factories. However, the deal is currently in danger of failure as most Ford workers are rejecting the deal.

UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles attributes the large-scale rejection of the deal to the inexperience of many of the new hires. According to Settles, many young workers don’t fully understand the negotiation process and think they can get even more than the wage hike, signing bonus, and $9 billion in investments currently being offered.

Even more seasoned workers, however, are calling for further negotiations. They say previous negotiations have not been enough, nor have they fully taken into consideration the rising cost of living.

The tentative deal offers hourly workers a signing bonus of $8,500. Veteran workers receive and a wage increase of 3 percent in years one and three of the contract and a lump sum payment in the second and fourth year. Ford would lift the current $12,000 cap on profit-sharing checks.

Workers in Tier 2 get an eight-year path to full pay. In addition, Ford agrees to invest $9 billion in its domestic operations over the course of the next four years. This is more than similar investments by competitors GM and Chrysler, and is significant considering the company’s offshoring trend in recent years.


The UAW asserts that if the deal is rejected and goes back to negotiations, these benefits might be lost and less advantageous ones offered.  

So far, three fourths of workers have voted. Production workers rejected the deal by 52 percent, while skilled-trade workers have accepted it by 51 percent. If Ford and the UAW hope to pass the agreement, they ‘re going to have to persuade enough workers by Friday.

While the UAW has been extremely active in promoting the deal on-site, detractors have taken to social media to persuade workers not to give their vote and instead demand better benefits. Get a title loans, too.

This is a precarious situation for Ford and its employees. Factory workers naturally want better wages to keep up with rising inflation and cost of living. They see the company pulling in greater profits these last years and want a piece of the pie.

Unfortunately, this may be a battle they can’t win. Ford’s increased profits have largely been thanks to sending jobs overseas (particularly Mexico) where the average factory worker only makes a tenth of his American counterpart and is perfectly content with that wage. And overseas, Ford doesn’t have to deal with unions, strikes, benefits, or the like.

The truth is that it’s becoming harder and harder for domestic factory workers to compete in the global marketplace. The deal being offered is probably as good as it’s going to get under current circumstances. By asking for more, workers may only be confirming what Ford leadership is thinking: that its American workforce is more trouble than it’s worth. Instead of receiving a better deal, Ford workers may be sowing the seeds of their own unemployment.