Ford Narrows Cost Gap On Latest Labor Agreement
Agreement Allows for Greater Use of Temporary Workers
Negotiations between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the Detroit Three are done and in the books for the next four years. Between the three of them, the Ford deal passed by the slimmest margin, with some resistance from skilled trades workers on the consolidation of job titles as part of the agreement. Ford previously had the highest per-worker labor cost among the domestic automakers. With the passage of this latest agreement, the gap is effectively eliminated. As with the deals struck with General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the new agreement eliminates the controversial and unpopular two-tier wage scale, replacing it with an eight-year step-up into full hourly wages. Although hourly workers certainly got a lot of what they wanted from the new agreement, Ford negotiated and won greater flexibility in the use of temporary workers, according to Automotive News.
The new agreement eliminates the cap on the number of temporary workers, which are not given the same level of job security and pay as full-time workers. However, Ford points to its commitment to investing $9 billion in U.S. manufacturing and the addition or retention of up to 8,500 jobs in the U.S. Over the next few years, Ford’s U.S. manufacturing will be heavily skewed toward light trucks and SUVs, with production of most of its passenger car models going to Mexico and the Taurus fullsize sedan eventually being phased out in the U.S. market. The product replacing the Focus and C-Max at the Wayne, Michigan, assembly plant have not yet been officially announced, but it’s widely believed they could be a new Ford Ranger and a revived Bronco, either based on the global Everest SUV or Brazilian-market Troller 4x4.
Source: Ford, Automotive News