It sure looks that way. The Detroit Free Press reports—without any commentary whatsoever—that six out of eight locals who’ve voted have rejected the deal. This despite the usual specter of United Auto Workers’ voter fraud/intimidation issue (contract votes are not subject to independent monitoring). To wit: “Details of tally not available” and “Number of represented workers not available” and “51% of workers who voted were for the deal” and “according to that unit’s Web site.” Not to mention this nugget from the main news story: “Not all UAW locals that have completed voting have divulged precise tallies, and UAW officials in Detroit have declined to provide details.” Anyway, it looks like the proposed contract with Ford is failing fast. So . . . now what? As we’ve said before, the usual M.O. is for the UAW to go back to the bargaining table, get the required headline change (no no strike clause) and return with the same basic deal as before. In these post-GM C11 days, a strike at Ford seems completely beyond the realm of possibility. But if push comes to shove, expect Ford—lauded as the non-bailout queen—to send more production outside the country. Which they have done and will do, anyway.
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