Ford Kansas City Plant Rejects Contract Modifications

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
ford kansas city plant rejects contract modifications

And it wasn’t even close. Though the proposed concessions didn’t even move Ford to parity with its UAW-VEBA-owned cross-town rivals, 92 percent of the KC plant’s workers rejected the deal. According to The Detroit News, a UAW national Vice President tried to convince workers to accept the deal prior to the vote, but was apparently shouted down by angry employees. “(He) spoke and was booed,” said one worker who the DetN did not identify. “There were a lot of ‘No’s!’ It was a very loud meeting.” And apparently, it was the no-strike clause that got workers so steamed. Which makes a certain amount of sense… after all, what good is a union that can’t strike? The problem is that the no-strike clause was a crucial factor in convincing Fiat to take charge of Chrysler, an automaker the UAW ended up with a 60 percent stake in. And now, the worker’s rejection of a Ford agreement strikes an equally rippling blow to the UAW’s pattern-bargaining strategy. Can the UAW have it both ways? It sure looks like it’s going to try. Though KC was the first local rejection of the deal (five other plants narrowly approved it, two have rejected), a vote is approaching (on Friday) at the Dearborn Truck plant that has been a hotbed of UAW dissent. So much so, that it appears that UAW leadership may have delayed the Dearborn vote until after all the other locals’ votes. Still, if the Dearborn vote fails, which it well could, we could see major turmoil within the ranks of the UAW.

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  • CarPerson CarPerson on Oct 27, 2009

    The east coast city that will be getting the new Boeing 787 second assembly line and 737 follow-on plane assembly when the IAM union brain trust craters is Charleston, South Carolina, not Charlotte as I mentioned above. This morning’s paper says the union is asking for a full-blown 10-year contract instead of just adding a 10-year no-strike to the current contracts. When today’s government spending finally hits, there is going to be an apocalyptic shift in life as we know it in the United States. No thinking company on the face of the earth would sign any kind of a labor agreement with built-in raises extending more than 3-4 years from now.

  • Z71_Silvy Z71_Silvy on Oct 27, 2009

    If Ford wants the same concessions from their workers as GM and Chrysler workers got, then they should file for C11. Seems to me, Ford is getting a bit greedy. *If* Ford was doing as they believe they are, then they should pay their employees as such. Ford employees should not have to take the same concessions as employees from a bankrupt company.

  • SpikedLemon SpikedLemon on Oct 27, 2009

    Ford won't be able to compete on a level playing field without the union allowing them to get cost of labor down to the same as GM.

  • Geeber Geeber on Oct 27, 2009
    joeaverage: So why not shutter a UAW plant and reopen in TN along with VW and Nissan? Open shop rules here. Plenty of people looking for work at $14.00 per hour. I believe that closing a union shop and attempting to open a non-union one violates the federal Wagner Act. Plus, this sort of move would antagonize the national UAW leadership and completely undermine any leverage that it has with the locals. According to the story, it doesn't appear as though the problem is with the union's national leadership; it's with the various locals. The UAW's national leadership is working WITH Ford's management to get the concessions. Z71_Silvy: If Ford wants the same concessions from their workers as GM and Chrysler workers got, then they should file for C11. Wouldn't it be better for both Ford and its UAW workers to do everything possible to avoid that result? GM and Chrysler may have received federal bailout funds NOW, but if there is a anti-bailout backlash in the 2010 congressional elections, then circumstances for both could change very quickly. At least Ford is still the master of its own fate.