UAW members vote to reject Ford deal

It would seem that the union members have had enough and voted this deal down even though it was recommended by the union leaders for acceptance. As one member claimed earlier deals gave plenty of concessions but they have little to show for it except a request to give more back. At the same time the company claims to be doing well and is making good profits. These excerpts are from the NYTimes.

Ford’s Plan to Cut Costs Falls Short in Union Vote
DEARBORN, Mich. — Union workers at the Ford Motor Company have refused to help the company make more cuts to its labor costs.

Changes to the workers’ contract that would have allowed the cuts appeared headed for certain defeat Saturday after about 72 percent of workers voted to reject the deal, according to a tally compiled by The New York Times from results at separate plants.

Ford, which said it needed the changes to reduce some advantages the union gave to General Motors and Chrysler as those companies headed into bankruptcy in the spring, is not expected to seek a new deal.

The Ford proposal, which was supported by the union’s leadership, would have frozen the pay of newly hired workers and banned the union from striking in order to demand higher pay or benefits until 2015. Some job classifications also would have been combined, giving Ford more flexibility to shuffle workers around.

In return, Ford promised to pay each worker a $1,000 bonus in March 2010 and to guarantee the assignment of new products to some plants, creating or saving a total of about 7,000 jobs, according to calculations by union leaders.

A person with knowledge of the private negotiations said Ford had already achieved most of the savings it needed in a deal the union approved in the spring. Ford said that earlier deal would save it about $500 million a year. The changes proposed in the latest vote would have saved far less.

.... Ford posted a $2.3 billion profit in the second quarter, although it remains deeply in debt.

The president of the United Auto Workers union, Ron Gettelfinger, told reporters Friday that he did not plan to seek a revote.

The workers’ refusal to accept what would have been a third round of concessions since 2007 shows that, despite their industry’s troubles, there is a limit to how much they are willing to sacrifice, said Harley Shaiken, a labor expert at the University of California, Berkeley.

....Many workers interviewed before the vote said they had yet to see benefits they were promised in the March deal even as they were being asked to change their contract again.

“The company’s doing good,” said Mr. Baran, a 30-year employee at Ford. “Why do we have to be on the same plateau as Chrysler and G.M.? We’re different now.”


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