By on October 31, 2019

LIVONIA TRANSMISSION PLANT

You probably won’t see striking workers outside Ford Motor Company plants in the near future, all thanks to a tentative four-year labor contract reached between the automaker and the United Auto Workers late Thursday night. With General Motors leading the way in the latest round of Detroit Three bargaining, Ford worked quickly to seal a deal that likely incorporates many planks found in the now-ratified GM agreement.

While the automaker and union haven’t released details of the proposed contract, sources claim an engine plant will have to close up shop. Shuttering one parts plant won’t do much to save Ford much cash, but at least it allows the automaker to (tentatively) avoid the kind of strike that just cost its Detroit rival over $2 billion.

Little was said of the agreement, with Ford’s vice president of labor affairs, Bill Dirksen, stating only, “Ford can confirm the UAW’s announcement that the UAW and Ford have reached a proposed tentative agreement on a four-year contract. Further details will be provided at a later date.”

Local UAW presidents are currently converging on Detroit, where a vote is expected Friday afternoon. If the contract gets the thumbs-up, it then goes to members for ratification. That round of voting should wrap up by the end of next week.

“Our negotiating team worked diligently during the General Motors strike to maintain productive negotiations with Ford,” said UAW Vice President Rory Gamble in a release. “The pattern bargaining strategy has been a very effective approach for UAW and its members to secure economic gains around salary, benefits and secured over $6 billion in major product investments in American facilities, creating and retaining over 8,500 jobs for our communities.”

According to The Detroit News, the agreement includes the closure of Ford’s Romeo, Michigan engine plant — a facility that employs roughly 600 hourly workers. It seems no one will lose their job per se; sources claim workers will be offered retirement packages or a position at the nearby Van Dyke Transmission Plant.

Romeo Engine, which started production of automotive engines in 1973, is the birthplace of Ford’s Modular V8s. The facility now builds the 5.2-liter Voodoo and Predator V8s found in Shelby-badged Mustangs, the company’s 6.2-liter truck engine, and blocks for 5.0- and 2.3-liter engines.

In addition to the new or retained jobs, workers reportedly stand to receive a $9,000 bonus, up some $500 from the 2015 contract, but still less than the $11,000 offered to GM workers.

[Image: Ford]

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