Ford Workers Reject Contract changes

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Ford Workers Reject Contract changes http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/31/ford-workers-reject-contr_n_341181.html
DETROIT Ford Motor Co. workers have overwhelmingly rejected contract
changes that would have allowed the automaker to cut labor costs, leaving Ford at a disadvantage to its Detroit rivals as it continues its struggle to return to profitability.
The United Auto Workers union had given local unions until Monday to complete voting. But a person briefed on the voting said Saturday that the contract changes have been rejected by large margins. The person asked not to be named because the UAW hasn't announced the results yet.
The UAW and Ford agreed to the contract changes several weeks ago, but Ford workers needed to ratify them. Ford has 41,000 UAW-represented workers.
Two large union locals in Kentucky and Ford's home city of Dearborn rejected the contract Friday, sealing its fate. Those unions together represent 13,000 Ford workers. Exact tallies weren't available, but at least 12 UAW locals representing about 27,500 workers so far have vetoed the deal, many overwhelmingly. Only about four locals with a total of 7,000 members favored the pact.
Ford sought the deal to bring its labor costs in line with Detroit rivals Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Co., both of which won concessions from the union as they headed into bankruptcy protection earlier this year. Under pattern bargaining, the three automakers usually match pay, benefits and other contract provisions.
But workers weren't convinced they should make more concessions, since Ford avoided bankruptcy and is considered healthier than its rivals. At least two Wall Street analysts are predicting that Ford could report a profit Monday when it announces third-quarter earnings.
Rocky Comito, president of UAW Local 862 in Louisville, said Friday that workers felt they were being asked to sacrifice more than the company's executives. Ford CEO Alan Mulally made $17.7 million last year, although that was down 22 percent from the year before.
"Some want to see management give more at the upper level," Comito said. Story continues below
Ford was offering workers a $1,000 bonus if they ratified the contract. But the contract also would have frozen entry-level pay, changed some work rules and limited workers' ability to strike.
A message seeking comment was left Saturday for the UAW. UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said Friday that there wouldn't be a revote if the contract changes failed.
"If it fails, there would be no reason to go back to the bargaining table," Gettelfinger said at a community event in Detroit. "We have a democratic process in place. People have a right to express themselves. We recognize there's a lot of misinformation about it out there, but that is what it is."
Factory-level union leaders have known for several days that the deal would be defeated, said one Detroit-area official who asked not to be identified because the voting is not completed.
The union did a poor job of explaining the need to preserve jobs and keep Ford competitive with GM and Chrysler, the official said.
He doesn't believe members will approve any more changes until the 2011 contract, which will leave Ford at a disadvantage and has the potential to knock the company from its position as the strongest financially of the Detroit Three.
"Our goal should be to keep Ford Motor Co. going in the right direction," he said.
Gary Chaison, a professor of labor relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., said the vote was a slap to UAW leadership. It's extremely rare for union members to oppose the union's recommended vote.
Chaison said the vote damages the reputation of UAW Vice President Bob King, the chief Ford negotiator, who has been mentioned as a successor to Gettelfinger when the union elects a new president in 2010.
"The sign of a good leader is that you can agree to something and then sell it to the membership," Chaison said.
Chaison said Ford asked for too much too soon after workers already agreed to concessions earlier this year. He also said Ford lacked credibility because its financial situation wasn't as dire as GM's or Chrysler's.
"They made such a strong case about not going to bankruptcy court and turning the corner, so they couldn't go to the workers and say, 'We need this to turn the corner,'" he said.
The no votes came even as Ford reached a similar cost-cutting agreement with the Canadian Auto Workers union Friday. The CAW has agreed to cuts in benefits in exchange for product guarantees, but that agreement must be ratified by Canadian workers.
In addition to the plants in Louisville and Dearborn, workers at factories in Chicago; Claycomo, Mo.; and Livonia, Plymouth, Sterling Heights, Flat Rock, Ypsilanti Township, Mich., rejected the deal. Locals in Wayne, Mich.; Cleveland; Indianapolis and St. Paul, Minn., voted in favor.
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Jim_Higgins wrote:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/31/ford-workers-reject-contr_n_341181.html

Solution is pretty easy. Start going offshore and closing plants.
Let the hammer fall on a couple of more militaristic plants to demonstrate. Shouldn't take too long to ge the point across.
I don't know why they even try to run domestic plants. Makes no sense, too costly and too much nanny hand holding. I hear Ford Brazil can make econo vehicle for 1/2 price, tell them to ramp up.
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Canuck57 wrote:

Ford will start moving offshore and GM will match them. Chrysler doesn't count for anything anymore.
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But, but, but will you be able to afford to buy one on your McDonalds salary, or will you continue to buy the used cars you buy that someone else no longer wanted? ;)

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Mike Hunter wrote:

LOL. You wish. But I did once a long time ago start out with a job that was at the social/pay status of McDonnalds, good learning experience. Today I could buy a franchise if I wanted too.
If you think like a GM or a union slug on the dole, that is all you will become.

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Literally millions of people buy cars and pay for repairs with a salary from McDonalds, WalMart, and Taco Bell.
These may not be the people who by Avalanches and Lucernes and suchlike, but they are the very bedrock of the American working environment.
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Perhaps but if the do they need a 72 month 26% interest contract, from a finance company to do so. Wal-Mart pays a lot more than minimum wage however, generally twice that amount.

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hls wrote:

Agreed. And it is unfair that Obama will eventually saddle them with the huge bailout-debt-spend-corruption going on. I don't see how these workers were responsible for GMs demise, and don't see why non-auto now has part of their taxes going to corrupt corporations of America.
Hopefully fewer of them will vot for the likes of BO in the future.
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Yeah, too bad they have to work 3 jobs to be able to do so.
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I guess we can assume you have no idea what it would cost to buy a dealership. LOL

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Mike Hunter wrote:

Who would want one? I like investments that return cash back to daddy.
The price is what people are willing to pay. Nothing more or less.
While 3 years ago a dealership might have fetched millions, today they can find buyers.
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Greedy UAW workers shoot themselves selves in their fetid feet!
Would someone please inform these uneducated, low-skilled buffoons that the days of union strikes are over?
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God'sLittleAnus wrote:

While Ford is better off than GM, they too are on the knife's edge. 8:1 debt to equity, big debt payments, competition getting stiffer, expenses out the wazoo, low sales to historical averags...
Ford can't afford a mistep. If the union causes trouble, fire them all who walk the line. If enough go on strike, close the whole plan permanently. Make an example of one, say Deerborn. Put it to them straight, here is the new rate, take it or leave it.
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In wrote:

Firing somone who's involved in a legal strike is a violation of US labor law.

And Ford would go out of business even faster than it's doing now.
The fact that the current administration is bought and paid for by big labor wouldn't help Ford's cause much either.
--
Bert Hyman St. Paul, MN snipped-for-privacy@iphouse.com

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Bert Hyman wrote:

A lockout is not. Then fire them first.

No, import them. Use the business model RCA, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Snap-on, Sears, Masterlock and many others do. Make it offshore and import the product. Slap a Ford logo on it an go.

And 98% of the rest of Amerca should be mad as all hell. They got sold out by every Lib-Dim, including Obama. Even many a Republican supported this massivve conspiracy to fraud the US taxpayer.
Head should roll for this kind of money. SEC should be lining them up like the Italy mafia trials.
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IMPORT THEM?? Tell us, what color is the sky in YOUR world?

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Mike Hunter wrote:

Right now it is cold and black.
I will not buy a CAW/UAW made auto. In fact, I don't even want their parts. Best way to beat that is to buy a true import not make here. I got a glimpse of the GM prices for new autos, what a screw job, absolutely insane pricing.
GM should run an advert, "Support Government Motors, we need your cash and will stop at nothing to get it.".

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But, but, but how does your opinion square what the fact that industry statistics show that GM vehicles are 20% to 30% LESS expensive to drive home, than Jap vehicles of the same size, when similarly equipped, dummy? LOL

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No buts... GM sucks. Poor resall, poor quality. Poor brand image now that they are corporate welfare, or is that Marxist Government Motors?
Mike Hunter wrote:

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Once again you prove you have no idea what you are talking about! US labor law does not allow striking union workers to be fired, if the contract has expired. The Union is still recognized, under labor law, as the bargaining agent for the workers. In any event ALL UAW contracts have a no strike clause in effect during the term of the contract, dummy.
That is what got the Air Traffic Control Worker fired by President Reagan, they went on strike in violation of their ongoing contract.
If the Union members vote to not accept the terms of a new contract they continue to work under the terms of the old contract, if management agrees, for a specified time or until the contract is replaced.
My techs were members of the Machinists Union and the ONLY power granted in any union, under any contract, under US labor law is the power to force management to abide by the contract it signed with the Union, period

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