Ford Wants No-Strike Guarantee From UAW

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

This is a fun one. The UAW has made no-strike guarantees to Chrysler and GM as part of their restructuring deals. This makes a certain amount of sense, considering that the UAW’s VEBA trust holds significant portions of GM and Chrysler’s new equity. After all, it’s hard to both represent labor and look after your equity position at the same time. Ford, however, has not been generous enough to let the UAW have a chunk of its stock, and yet it feels as though it might be fair if the UAW were to make similar no-strike guarantees.

A no-strike clause is “one piece of the conversation we’re having with them,” Alan Mulally tells the Freep. “We continue to talk with them on improving our competitiveness.” This is not the first time Ford has publicly noted the competitive advantages “earned” by its bailout-receiving cross town rivals. Still, according to Bill Ford, nobody at Ford wants to join the American Leyland experience. “We don’t know what the implications are going to be,” he tells Reuters, “but one thing is for sure, I like our position. We can make quick decisions, we can make the long-term decisions and we can continue to work the plan we have in place with no distraction. The ability to do that with minimal distraction and to operate nimbly and efficiently and really focus on the customer . . . does give us an advantage.”

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Jpcavanaugh Jpcavanaugh on Jun 18, 2009

    This has been my concern from the beginning of this ordeal. The UAW owns major shares of Ford's two competitors. Forget the wildcat strike issue. The big concern is when the contract term is up. Will there be no-stike clauses at GM and Chrysler at that time? Then who is going to be the target for the new contract? My guess is Ford. This has always struck me as a major conflict, where a majority of the membership of the UAW (that is, non-Ford members) would benefit from Ford losing market share to GM and Chrysler if that would boost the stock price. So long as Ford is wounded but still in business, they still have to pay into the VEBA. The VEBA then benefits from the increased value of GM and Chrysler. HMMMMMM.

  • Lokkii Lokkii on Jun 18, 2009

    I have some labor background, and I have to say that any faith in the power of a "No Strike" clause is naieve. There's a loophole as big as a house in the "Wildcat strikes equal right to fire strikers" laws. Nobody EVER has a wildcat strike over pay or benefits or working conditions. Nope. That's because the NLRB has ruled that "Employees who strike over safety conditions or unfair labor practices have the right to be rehired when the strike is over except for those who are convicted of crimes including tresspassing during the strike". You can look it up. Need I say more?

  • 95_SC 95_SC on Jun 18, 2009

    I just hope Ford can ride it out. If they can they'll be the only domestic in a few years. I just hope the bailout backlash continues.

  • Sherman Lin Sherman Lin on Jun 19, 2009

    Currently they do not have a "no strike clause" and strikes are illegal except when the contract has expired and yes strikes can be called over a safety issue. They are asking for an additional no strike clause. So how many wildcat strikes has Ford been a victim of?