The talks about a new labor deal between Ford and the UAW have barely begun, and both sides already utter the dreaded s-word: Strike.
“The last thing we want to do is incur a strike,” said Marty Malloy, Ford’s vice president for labor affairs, when the talks started. “We work great with the UAW.”
UAW’s Bob King answered: “I don’t think about strikes. We don’t collectively think about strikes.” According to Reuters, the UAW might seek the members’ permission to strike, but King said that was routine and had been done many times in the past.
So why pull out the s-word when the talks have just begun?
Ford is the only automaker where the UAW can strike. At GM or Chrysler, there is a no strike clause.
Also, there is an interesting piece of new math.
Malloy said Ford’s total costs were about $58 an hour per hourly worker, $8 more than its foreign rivals.
King has different numbers. But “we would respectfully do our math a little bit differently, but we’ll talk about that at the bargaining table.”
Amazing. Didn’t we hear that they work at near slave labor wages down South, and now they are only 8 bucks apart? And if King has different numbers, then that can only mean that he thinks Ford’s labor costs are closer to the foreigners.