UAW Launches Surprise Strike Against Ford Kentucky Truck Plant

The United Auto Workers (UAW) launched an unexpected strike against Ford Motor Company, targeting its extremely important truck works in Kentucky. While the plan was always to gradually turn up the volume on the industry, hoping to extend the union strike budget while inflicting the maximum desired effect on automakers during contract negotiations, this decision represents a major blow against Ford.

Those pickups are incredibly important to Blue Oval’s bottom line and the UAW knows it better than anyone. In fact, Ford has already released a list of 13 plants that will be impacted by the latest action taken by the union. Layoffs and potential work stoppages are anticipated in the days to come.

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Union Bargaining Begins in Detroit

The United Auto Workers (UAW) is commencing contract negotiations with General Motors, Stellantis, and the Ford Motor Company this week. Members of the union’s executive board, along with UAW President Shawn Fain, appeared outside Stellantis' Sterling Heights Assembly Plant early Wednesday morning to draw attention to the talks.

The plan is to see each manufacturer as a preamble to the formal negotiations, which technically begin on Friday. But the union is also desperate to show itself in a better light after expansive corruption scandals implicated some of its now-ousted top brass. For most people living in North America, wages haven’t kept pace with the cost of living and inflationary pressures are exacerbating the issue. If there was ever a time to get the American public back on the side of unions, it’s now.

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Despite Automaker Profits, It Was Another Rough Year for Suppliers

When the pandemic convinced practically every industry to press pause in 2020, supply chains became so crippled that just getting sectors of commerce rebooted became a challenge in itself. It was the business equivalent of a twenty-car pileup, with the automotive industry being hit particularly hard due to the complexity of its own supply lines. While the following year represented an improvement, production failed to stabilize to pre-pandemic levels.

The solution for automakers and dealerships was to begin demanding more money for cars. With vehicles in short supply, the value of new and used models blew through the roof. This move kept automakers largely in the black for 2021, despite a general inability (or unwillingness) to manufacture products at the normal pace. However, it didn’t help suppliers, who are haven’t been able to tack on the same premiums to individual components while still having to cope with rising economic hurdles.

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Chicago Mechanic Strike Continues

Technicians at over 50 dealerships in and around Chicago are now in their second week on strike.

They’re fighting with the Chicago New Car Dealer Committee, which represents the 56 dealers involved, as they negotiate their next four-year contract.

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Unifor Prepares to Strike After FCA Negotiations Go Sideways [UPDATED]

Canada’s preferred choice in unions, Unifor, warned that contract negotiations with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles were progressing slower than anticipated over the weekend. By Wednesday, news of a strike had begun brewing over social media. Local 444 was issuing FCA-WAP bargaining updates on Twitter and Facebook that included marching orders in the event that the day’s discussions didn’t end in a handshake.

“To ensure we are prepared for a strike, or strike coordinators have been working to finalize the details needed in order to begin, if and when necessary,” the union wrote to members. “If a tentative agreement is reached by 11:59pm October 14th, without an extension in place, then Local 444 along with brothers and sisters across the country at all FCA facilities will be on strike. As the talks continue late into the night, any updates will be posted to our social media pages and web page.”

That scenario is looking increasingly likely, especially as Unifor has explained there was little progress to report all afternoon. It also opened this week suggesting contract talks were “not quite where we feel [they] should be with this limited amount of time left on the clock.”

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Ford Chosen by Unifor as Canadian Bargaining Target

Unifor has selected the Ford Motor Company as its target for collective bargaining. Once negotiations conclude, the union will be using the terms established with the automaker to lay the groundwork for pattern deals with General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

While the talks have not yet begun, we already know Unifor wants to cement production commitments in Oakville, Ontario, where Ford is rumored to be ending Edge assembly. It would also like to secure deals for FCA plants in Brampton and Windsor. Naturally, the union will also be demanding wage increases — though this is sometimes the most contentious issue. Contract talks from 2016 became stuck in the mud over higher pay until Ford insisted employees remain subject to a 10-year wage grow-in that union members had been split on. It’s unclear if that will remain the case in 2020 but we genuinely haven’t had high hopes for the Union pulling out anything that resembles a major victory.

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Incredibly Shrinking Production Footprint Is Unifor's Cross to Bear

Detroit Three automobile production will rise 5 percent in the U.S. over the life of the recent four-year UAW contract, with Mexican assembly plants cranking out 11-percent fewer vehicles over the agreement’s lifespan, but there’s little good news for the snowy land north of the U.S. border.

By 2023, Detroit Three production is expected to decline by a whopping 27 percent in Canada, continuing a decades-long trend. Labor contracts expire this year, so what’s a union to do?

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Labor Peace Reached As 56 Percent of Ford-UAW Workers Spring for Contract

Avoiding the six-week strike that marked the end of contract negotiations between the UAW and General Motors, unionized workers at Ford ratified a four-year labor deal on Friday by a fairly narrow margin.

Roughly 55,000 UAW-affiliated Ford workers voted 56.3 percent in favor of the new deal, which carries many of the benefits secured through the earlier GM contract. It’s on to Fiat Chrysler after this.

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UAW Contract: What Fords Go Where?

UAW-affiliated Ford workers will vote by week’s end to ratify their union’s tentative four-year agreement with Ford Motor Company, or choose to kick it back in their faces and ask for something better. The General Motors contract, recently ratified, was a fairly close thing.

While bonuses, pay, and healthcare costs might be top of mind for most Ford employees, product is what concerns us here. Thankfully, leaked copies of the tentative agreement have emerged, providing a look at what vehicles we can expect Ford to build, and where.

For Michigan’s Flat Rock Assembly, it seems the near future won’t be as exciting as initially thought.

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UAW-GM Contract Vote Looking Like a Close One

Today is the last day of voting for UAW members employed at General Motors plants. By day’s end, we’ll know whether the rank and file saw fit to ratify the tentative agreement signed last week, thus ending the now 40-day-long strike, or send their bargaining team back to the table in search of a better deal.

So far, the membership hasn’t proven particularly enthusiastic, especially those employed at GMCH parts plants.

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UAW Counting Strike Votes As Contract Negotiations Continue

The United Automobile Workers are tallying strike votes as union leadership decides which contract terms are worth fighting over. While this is par for the course in any contract negotiation with General Motors, Ford, or Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, this year’s talks have been mired in scandal and economic uncertainty.

Despite the continued strength of the U.S. economy, the automotive industry has been busily preparing itself for a global recession — encouraging quite a bit of restructuring over the past year. Meanwhile, the UAW finds itself the subject of a federal corruption probe that has severely undermined its credibility. We know that at least one automaker, Fiat Chrysler, was actively bribing union officials. Following the recent conviction of the former head of the union’s FCA Department, Norwood Jewell, General Motors has also been implicated.

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Fiat Chrysler, Unifor Clear 'Major Obstacles' Before 11th Hour Contract Deal

A weekend meeting with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne led to a final-hour tentative agreement between the automaker and the union representing Detroit Three autoworkers in Canada, Unifor president Jerry Dias claims.

The deal, announced five minutes before Monday’s 11:59 p.m. strike deadline, means 3,500 Brampton assembly plant workers face a less uncertain future than before.

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Plants, Parts and Pay on the Table as Fiat Chrysler Tries to Avert Midnight Strike

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles must make some pricey commitments to head off a midnight strike by its Canadian autoworkers.

Bargaining teams from FCA and Unifor, which represents Detroit Three autoworkers in Canada, worked throughout the weekend to nail down a contract deal patterned on the recent General Motors agreement.

Without product commitment for its Brampton assembly plant and Etobicoke casting plant, among other sticking points, workers could walk off the job tonight.

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No Turkey for Fiat Chrysler, Unifor as Monday Strike Deadline Looms

Canada, as the New York Times helpfully points out, actually celebrates Thanksgiving (!), but bargaining teams from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and autoworkers union Unifor won’t get to enjoy it.

The two groups are expected to bargain down to the last minute as contract talks approach Monday night’s strike deadline, the Windsor Star reports. Unlike recent bargaining between Unifor and General Motors, the FCA negotiations have been whisper quiet, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t action happening behind the scenes.

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GM-Unifor Deal Won't Fly With Ford Workers: Union Official

GM Canada autoworkers seemed pretty pleased with the contract deal their union reached with the company, but Ford needs to put something different on the table to satisfy its employees.

The president of a Unifor local representing Canadian Ford workers said his members would have voted down the GM deal, Reuters reports.

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