Ford deal would keep trucks here (Louisville, KY)

Ford deal would keep trucks here (Louisville, KY) http://tinyurl.com/2ef4k5
Union workers at Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant will vote Wednesday and Thursday on a company-proposed agreement that assures Super Duty truck
production stays in Louisville but would eliminate most overtime.
The deal between Ford and the United Auto Workers also would convert the work week from five 8-hour days to four 10-hour days and eliminate some union-held jobs at the plant through attrition.
Ford's proposal to 4,800 union workers at the Chamberlain Lane plant resembles the agreement overwhelmingly passed in March by autoworkers at the Louisville Assembly Plant on Fern Valley Road. Most of Ford's North American plants have approved similar concession agreements in the last 18 months.
As sales have continued to slump in the wake of a $12.7 billion loss last year, Ford says it's trying to cut costs to compete with Asian automakers.
"It is a changing world and we have got to accept these changes. We have got to do this to have a future," United Auto Workers Local 862 president Rocky Comito said yesterday. "Someday we will get O.T. back. Someday we will get these jobs back. But we have to be here to do that."
"The whole idea is to do more with less," Ford spokeswoman Anne Marie Gattari said. "We are trying to make our plants more efficient."
In taking away the time-honored labor standard of an eight-hour day with overtime pay thereafter, Ford's proposal states that the "Kentucky Truck Plant will continue to be the sole producer of current Super Duty Truck production. up to 400,000 units."
That's roughly the plant's current capacity, and virtually assures the survival of the plant, Comito said. "That is the best guarantee there is," he said.
Ford previously said it plans to close seven assembly plants by 2009 to regain profitability. Unlike the Explorer-producing Louisville Assembly Plant, the Kentucky Truck Plant has not been seen as at risk.
Tammie Nelson, who now works five, 8-hour days on the line at Kentucky Truck, said yesterday that she will vote to reject the agreement with Ford but expects it will gain approval nonetheless.
"I hate to say it, it probably will pass," said Nelson, 40.
Ford's proposal includes new investments in the plant's body shop and stamping facilities. Kentucky Truck employees will also work on new features such as spray-in bed liners and a fifth-wheel hitch for hauling trailers.
The most veteran employees will be affected by a plan to eliminate sought-after "bid jobs" through attrition. They include driving and maintaining fork lifts, repairing power tools, manning store areas and delivering material to the lines.
But compensation lies at the heart of the concessions, which rankles some workers.
Losing overtime after eight hours "is the hardest thing for me to take," said line worker Tim Coward, 35. "This is something that could really change Ford from now until ever."
Proposed plant schedules vary, with some overtime pay remaining. Body and Paint line workers would receive overtime only on hours 11 and 12, if required, for each day of the four-day workweek. Trim, Frame and Chassis workers could labor a 50-hour, 10-hour-a-day week, with overtime paid for hours nine and ten.
The loss of overtime pay after eight hours represents more ground lost by union workers nationwide who have surrendered cost-of-living increases, pension benefits and health care subsidies over the years, labor historian Jim Moran said yesterday.
"People died on picket lines for these things back in the day," said Moran, 67, a former UAW member and labor historian based in Philadelphia. "So many contracts fought for in blood spell out time and a half after 8 hours."
More tough times lie just ahead for Ford and the United Auto Workers.
This summer, health care costs for retirees and workers are expected to be at the center of contract talks between Ford and the UAW for the national contract that expires in September.
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On Sun, 06 May 2007 14:52:46 -0400, Jim Higgins

The Union folks just don't get it, do they? 4-10's are a Win-Win.
The whole idea of working 4/10's for the workers is they get an extra day off per week - every week has a three-day weekend, and everyone gets a weekday off to go get errands and appointments done without taking the day off work. And if they're asked to work a fifth or sixth day it's should automatically be overtime if it puts them over 40 Hours for the week.
And it's better for the company with better productivity for the same hours worked. They only have to do the daily startup and shutdown on the line four times in the same period, meaning a few more cars get built in the same 40 hour week, less paint gets wasted cleaning the spray guns each day, fewer mixing nozzles needed and less wasted epoxy glues and catalyzed body seam filler in self-mixing dispensers, etc.
But trust the United Auto Workers to turn a potential win into a huge loss. "Union Solidarity Forever" right into the dust-bin of history, last person out of the factory please turn off the lights...
--<< Bruce >>--
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On Sun, 06 May 2007 19:58:18 GMT, Bruce L. Bergman

Several years ago, some Chrysler plants voted to try the 4-10's for a year. At the end of the year, they overwhelmingly voted to go back to 5-8's. Their reasoning was that with a 3 day weekend every week, they spent too much money.
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David Starr wrote:

Spending too much now won't be a worry, having anything to spend will be.
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wrote:

And it also lets the workers start little side businesses, to make a bit of extra money. Or do the homework for school classes that they ought to be taking to job retrain. You can get a hell of a lot done when the kids are in school.
Ted
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wrote:

And it also lets the workers start little side businesses, to make a bit of extra money. Or do the homework for school classes that they ought to be taking to job retrain. You can get a hell of a lot done when the kids are in school.
Ted
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O

Sounds good to me. There is always that place you have to go to that only opens Mon-Fri, or is packed beyond belief for the 3 hours it opens on a Saturday morning.
But is every week Mon-Thurs or does it rotate? I did 12hr rotating shifts for a while and it makes it impossible to have any kind of regular commitments outside work. (it didn't help that half the shifts were nights, though)
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Bruce L. Bergman wrote:

Do they not run these plants 24 hours?
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