Ford Motor’s Americas boss Joe Hinrichs has expressed desire to have the second-largest automaker’s labor costs drop down to a level playing field with those seen at its Fiat Chrysler Automobiles competitor.
Hinrichs, commenting at a Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference, indicated the Ford desire to be brought up when negotiations are started this summer with the UAW, the union representing the company’s hourly workers. He added that when talks are initiated with the United Auto Workers, one of the subjects would be that of entry-level workers, who get a lower base wage than veteran peers. General Motors, Ford and FCA US are all three set to start negotiating new deals to succeed the ones set to expire this September. Hinrichs added that Ford wants to become more competitive in order to keep up its investments in US factories. He also hinted that Ford would be open to an agreement similar in nature at all three Detroit manufacturers as a way of helping Ford regain some of the advantage lost to Fiat Chrysler’s bankruptcy restructuring process in 2009.
“Ideally, some of those discrepancies that exist because of the bankruptcies at two of our competitors will play themselves out as part of that pattern bargaining process,” commented the executive, adding the talks would most certainly be a “delicate balance.” He added that Ford wants an overall labor expenditure as close as possible to other auto producers in the US and they were open to discuss any possibility with the UAW.