UAW and Ford reach proposed tentative labor agreement in speedy fashion

UAW-Ford members had been unofficially negotiating with the automaker throughout the GM strike.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
Ford-UAW labor contract negotiations
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Ford-UAW labor contract negotiations

Well, that was quick.


and the United Auto Workers union have hashed out a new labor agreement as both sides announced a proposed tentative deal late Wednesday evening after just a week of official negotiations. The UAW-Ford agreement occurred at lightning pace comparing to the long slog of General Motors' negotiations with the union, which ended last week after a 40-day strike.

While the UAW-GM strike played out, the union and Ford remained in unofficial discussions, which likely helped each side come to a final agreement far more quickly.

Of the tentative agreement, Ford Vice President of Labor Affairs Bill Dirksen said, "Ford can confirm the UAW's announcement that the UAW and Ford have reached a proposed tentative agreement on a four-year contract. Further details will be provided at a later date."

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The UAW dished out more details than the automaker in its own announcement, declaring the deal a victory for UAW-Ford workers. Additionally, the union said its "pattern" strategy remained effective; the union used the GM agreement as a template for what union members working at a different automaker should expect.

"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," said UAW Vice President Rory Gamble.

The UAW-Ford National Council, just like during the GM talks, needs to review and approve the labor agreement to officially seal it as a tentative agreement. At that point, the union will release the contract details to the public. Members will then need to vote to ratify the agreement with a simple majority.

With few speed bumps expected, the ratification should come quickly. Meanwhile, the UAW will prepare to tackle its final automaker: Fiat Chrysler. While negotiations were likely to have gone similarly to Ford's, the news of FCA's intended merger with French automaker PSA Group could raise new questions about job security for production workers. The agreed merger would create the fourth largest automaker in the world.

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