The United Auto Workers union on Tuesday announced it could strike within five days at a key assembly plant that manufactures Ford’s top selling model, the F-150 pickup truck, after a clash on the new “local” labor contract.
According to UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles, a strike authorization was given by UAW President Dennis Williams and also assured workers they should be confident a different tentative labor contract than the one disapproved by FCA workers has been negotiated with the second largest automaker. Ford is negotiating with the UAW for the four-year labor agreement that will affect 52,700 unionized employees in the US but is also bargaining on a local level with the 7,500 workers at the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri. The strike threat revolved around issues with the local deal. Ford “has failed to negotiate in good faith at the local level,” commented Settles in a notice sent to Ford workers.
The strike is also coming at a sensible moment – the UAW needs to showcase its resolve in front of its members – after the 40,000 UAW members working for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are close to reject the proposed four-year deal agreed upon by the union and automaker earlier this month. The UAW union and each of the three Detroit-based automakers have separate national deals for the UAW members as well as local agreements with each union branch. The F-150 pickup truck, also produced at a factory in Dearborn, Michigan, is the top selling Ford model in North America and a key driver of the company’s annual profit.