Ford comes to quick agreement with USA workers' union

Ford Oakville Workers

Ford and the UAW have been discussing the new contract since July, but the final phase began Monday after the GM strike ended late last week.

Those include maintaining coverage for employees' out-of-pocket healthcare costs, securing around three percent in raises, adding four percent lump-sum bonus increases for each year of the contract, and providing a path for temporary workers to be offered full-time positions. However, the terms of the deal are not being released to the public until after they have been presented to the 55,000 Ford employees in the USA for a ratification vote.

"The UAW doesn't just make our workers better, it makes Ford better and stronger", Bill Ford told UAW workers previous year.

The agreement likely will mirror the pact approved last week by General Motors workers after a 40-day strike.

"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", UAW Vice President Rory Gamble, head of the union's Ford department, said in a statement.

If the proposal is approved by leaders, UAW members would then vote whether to accept it. There was no work stoppage at Ford.

While he declined to discuss the details of the tentative agreement, Gamble indicated that the agreement follows the "pattern" set at GM. The terms of this Ford agreement are not yet known. It is uncertain if Ford will emphasize electrified vehicles, as did GM which included in its $9 billion program the addition of a new all-electric pickup to be built at a plant in Detroit that had originally been scheduled to close.

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The GM deal also includes an $11,000 signing bonus and scraps a cap on annual profit sharing based on the company's North American pretax income.

The union confirmed this week it had started to focus on a new Ford deal.

Big issues in talks with GM were terms for lower-paid workers who were in-progression or temporary workers. "Further details will be provided at a later date".

In the days ahead, the UAW is expected to move on to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles where talks also were put on hold in September.

That victory won't have as much impact at Ford and Fiat Chrysler, where executives aren't as pressed to close plants and are instead looking for cost savings in other areas to offset any labor-cost inflation, say people close to the talks.

Further complicating matters, the UAW will be well aware of the tentative merger plans between FCA and French automaker PSA.

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