New Labor Agreement Passes By Slim Margin of Ford Workers
Final Results Unexpected Turn for the Better
Concerns over possible contract-related strikes by workers for the Detroit Three are now over as Ford, the last of the domestic automakers to negotiate with the United Auto Workers, finally won over a slim majority of union-represented workers to finally ratify the four-year labor contract, Reuters reports. Ratification of the Ford contract was far from a foregone conclusion only a few days ago, as several UAW locals representing Ford plants rejected the proposed contract. The final tally of votes came in at 51.3 percent of production workers and 52.4 percent of skilled-trade workers. Likely working against Ford is its announcement that it will be moving the majority of its passenger-car production to Mexico, leaving only the upcoming Lincoln Continental sedan and Ford Mustang as U.S.-built non-trucks or SUVs.
Production of the popular Ford Escape will increase at the Louisville, Kentucky, plant, nudging out the Escape-based Lincoln MKC. With Focus and C-Max production moving south of the border, a persistent rumor is that the Ford Ranger midsize truck and a revival of the Bronco off-road SUV will take the models’ place at the Wayne, Michigan, assembly plant. Ford has not yet released an official statement disclosing what models will be built in Wayne after 2018.
Trucks and SUVs are Ford’s most popular models by far, with the F-Series truck being the brand’s best-selling model for more than three decades and the Escape compact crossover out-sold the Fusion midsize sedan by more than 1,000 units in October, further emphasizing the importance of crossovers in the marketplace.