(AP) – The United Auto Workers union is making a last-ditch push for the union’s proposed contract with Ford, which is heading for defeat in votes at Ford’s plants.
The union’s chief Ford negotiator, Jimmy Settles, said Wednesday that with 75 percent of workers voting, the contract is failing by a 52-48 percent margin. Workers at two big truck plants in Louisville, Kentucky, and Kansas City, Missouri, were among those who voted down the agreement.
Voting ends Friday. The UAW said it will likely announce vote totals Saturday.
“We’re optimistic. It looks dark now, but it might be light in the morning,” Settles said.
The agreement raises wages for all of Ford’s 53,000 hourly workers and guarantees $9 billion in investments in U.S. plants. It would end a hated two-tier wage system at Ford’s plants by bringing new workers up to the wages of longtime workers over eight years. And it promises bonuses worth $10,250 as soon as the contract is ratified.
But some members think Ford Motor Co. should end the two-tier system immediately, not over eight years. Others argue that it relies too much on profit-sharing payments and bonuses instead of guaranteed annual pay raises.