UAW Rejects "No Strike" Ford Contract

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
uaw rejects no strike ford contract

Who in their right minds thought that the United Auto Workers (UAW) rank and file would ratify a contract that included a no-strike clause? That would be like cutting off your balls to spite your penis. And so they haven’t (ratified the contract that is). Sure, Chrysler has one of them no-strike deals, but they’re dead in the water. Ford’s on its way back to profit! Ford’s CEO said so himself. Many times. As Alan Mulally and UAW Prez Ron Gettelfinger have learned, if you talk out of both sides of your mouth, you’re heading for a big old bitch slapping. On Friday, Big Ron told the Detroit Free Press that the UAW won’t return to the bargaining table if the measure was defeated. So Ford’s unionized work force will carry on as before, until the existing accord (so to speak) expires in 2011. The rejection will not play well with Ford’s investors, who were looking for the Blue Oval Boys to reduce their labor costs to match those of the transplants and cross-town welfare queens.

Post-UAW defeat Ford will likely look to outsource more of its production abroad. Which will play well with investors but NOT with the UAW, whose interests the Obama administration seems to take VERY seriously. Still . . .

“J.P. Morgan believes Ford could turn a third-quarter profit,” Automotive News [sub] reports. “With a faster-than-expected return to profitability in North America also possible.”

Anything’s possible, I suppose. Let’s see those October sales stats, feel Ford’s burn and meet back here for a reality check, shall we?

Join the conversation
4 of 47 comments
  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Nov 03, 2009
    Reality check boys- it’s a new era of high unemployment and low expectations other than the opportunity to work hard enough to hold onto your job if you do it well What you're describing will result in a race to the bottom that, eventually, will end up destroying the market because there won't be anyone who can afford to buy the goods. It'll be all the worse in the US because the social safety net does not exist to cope with high unemployment. I'm not sure what the solution is, but breaking unions and enabling disenfranchisement of the middle class is not it. I'm truly disheartened to watch people cheering for it. We've seeing real earning power erosion over the past quarter-century, despite net growths in GDP. How is this possible? We're enriching very few, and impoverishing far more. That's not a recipe for sustainable economic development.** How the upper class has managed to turn the middle and lower classes against themselves is a testament to effective marketing. Instead of half the workforce grumbling about what unionized workers get and how lucky that their jobs haven't been outsourced to China, we really ought to be asking why the earnings spread is so very wide, and why benefits and job security aren't available for more people. Notice how people get really uppity (and how the Op-Eds start coming fast and furious) at the idea of salary controls and increased regulation in the financial sector. The cockroaches really don't like it when you start shining the light on them. I'm not saying that the UAW isn't being more than a little myopic, but because we don't have a cooperative, Japanese-style labour/management culture (thanks to decades of propaganda on both sides) I don't see an alternative. ** if you're an auto enthusiast, you should be concerned. One of the reasons we have had cool cars is because there were people to buy them. Keep things on the path they're currently on and the "enthusiast" market is going to look a lot like today's India and a lot less like North America in the 1960s.
  • Willman Willman on Nov 03, 2009

    You know, it's going to be a VERY rude awakening for some of the union tools when they are finally kicked out of a job. Because once they are forcibly wrested from their Communist delusions, and actually have to get jobs at the Fair Market Rate for their skills, education and experience, given their contribution to the total profit [just like every normal person out there], they're going to sit down and have a real good think about Reality. -But for now, continue to whine about how you should be paid more than schoolteachers, professors, engineers, etc. We all need a few laughs in dark economic times. :P . . (btw, if you want $75/hr, you Can have it. -Just train+educate for a job where that's market rate.)

  • Blake2415 Blake2415 on Nov 03, 2009

    Listen folk... First of all, Ford's job is to make a profit. They should make 10 billion, not one. Second, the UAW was a big part of the automotive industry problems. Sure GM, Chrysler, and Ford made mistakes, so have Toyota, Nissan, Honda, etc. The point is that this boys club of auto workers has milked the auto industry for way too long. By the time the Toyota plants were here, our own auto industry was buried under the weight of the boys club wanting royalty treatment for their labor. It's time for the UAW do disappear. I know it won't happen but I wish Ford would put them out and give the jobs to realistic people. The union no longer fits in a free market. It's time for our autoworkers to accept market pay and forget the magic carpet ride they have been able to arm wrestle from the auto industry. Ford needs to react to their market as a business, not as a caretaker for the employees. The UAW workers should be thankful for their jobs and they need to let Ford find it's equal footing. Read me loud people, Ford's primary goal is to be a profitable company, nothing more. Personally, I'm sick of hearing the UAW cry and moan. Take a market wage or get out! Your time has come and gone.

  • Geeber Geeber on Nov 04, 2009
    John Horner: Oh yeah, and how about all the fabulously wealthy, high living Ford heirs who are reaping the benefits of their ancestors efforts and good luck? It's their company - please remember that key point. It's not the UAW's company, or the federal government's company, or your company. And please review the history of several of those heirs, starting with Henry Ford II and continuing through William Clay Ford, Jr. They haven't exactly been sitting on their duffs, collecting dividends and living it up with Paris Hilton. They have been working to make sure that the company remains a going concern. And if Charlotte Ford is a "New York Socialite" - so what? How, exactly, does this have anything to do with the cost of labor at the Ford Motor Company? The Ford Motor Company exists to make a profit by building products that people want, not serve as some sort of social welfare agency to ensure that no worker never loses a job.