The National Law Forum

The Blog of the The National Law Review

Ford UAW Workers Defy Logic Of Ricky Bobby With New Tentative Agreement

If you ain’t first, you’re last. Not so, say the Ford UAW workers whose bargaining committee recently reached a new tentative agreement with Ford. While Ford was the last to reach a tentative agreement with the UAW, if the membership ratifies the tentative agreement, the UAW workers at Ford stand to receive a better overall deal than their counterparts at Fiat Chrysler and GM. Highlights of the tentative agreement with Ford include:

  • Investment of $9 billion in the U.S. by Ford over the life of the agreement;

  • $8,500 ratification bonus along with a $1,500 profit-sharing prepayment;

  • Entry level employees can progress to the Tier 1 wage rates within 8 years; and

  • $70,000 retirement incentive for eligible employees.

As with the ratification process for Fiat Chrysler and GM, the UAW membership at Ford will now be asked to vote in the coming days to approve the tentative agreement. The fact that the Ford tentative agreement is already better than the tentative agreements with Fiat Chrysler and GM should aid in the ratification process. Additionally, the UAW has already seen firsthand what works and what does not when it comes to seeking ratification of a tentative agreement in the current automotive climate.

While the bargaining process at Ford seems to be headed in the right direction, GM is still waiting to announce the ratification of its tentative agreement with the UAW. Despite a majority of the hourly production workers supporting the tentative agreement, a majority of the skilled-trades workers voted “no.” Based on the UAW’s constitution, the UAW is required to meet with the skilled-trades members to hear their complaints. Those meetings began this week. We will have to wait and see if the UAW attempts to go back to the bargaining table based on the issues raised by the skilled-trades workers.

© 2015 Foley & Lardner LLP

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