UAW leaders send Ford deal to workers for vote

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DETROIT — UAW leaders on Friday agreed to send a tentative four-year labor agreement with Ford Motor Co. that largely mirrors the union’s new General Motors contract to Ford’s 55,000 hourly employees for ratification.

Union workers will vote by Nov. 15 whether to approve the proposed contract, a union spokesman said. The UAW said the deal provides economic gains worth an estimated $29,500 for production workers and $32,500 for skilled-trades employees through 2023.

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The gains include 4 percent bonuses this year and in 2021, 3 percent wage increases in 2020 and 2022, and annual $1,500 “inflation protection” payments.

“This contract provides over $6 billion in new product investment creating and retaining over 8,500 jobs. We are proud that UAW-Ford members through this contract will continue to be the largest U.S. auto workforce and build the most products here at home,” UAW Vice President Rory Gamble, who heads the union’s Ford department, said in a statement. “This contract reflects the hard work, sacrifice and quality work of UAW members as they lead the U.S. auto industry.”

Gamble said the agreement provides significant gains, including a pathway for full-time temporary workers to achieve permanent status, a faster path for all current UAW members at Ford to reach full pay, no change in health care costs and significantly improved job security.

It establishes a moratorium on outsourcing and plant closures, except for Romeo Engine in Michigan. When Romeo Engine closes, its workers will be transferred to Van Dyke Transmission nearby, with no job losses expected.

The majority of the $6 billion in investment will go to Ford’s assembly plants. That includes $700 million at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan for the next-generation F-150 — including a hybrid version, a battery-electric version and a new Raptor — as well as $1.1 billion at Michigan Assembly and $900 million for Ohio Assembly, which will get a new undisclosed product in 2023.

There was no immediate breakdown of how many of the 8,500 jobs would be new.

The $9,000 ratification bonus for hourly workers is $2,000 less than what GM workers received, while the ratification bonus of $3,500 for temporary workers is $1,000 less than at GM. GM workers gave up more than that difference in lost wages while on strike, though.

Ford is offering a $60,000 retirement bonus to production employees and up to 200 skilled-trades workers who choose to retire. GM also offered the same bonus amount but capped it at 2,000 production workers and up to 60 skilled-trades workers.

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