November 24, 2015
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
United Auto Workers members at Ford narrowly ratified a new four-year contract Nov. 20, with 51% of production workers and 52% of skilled-trades workers voting yes.
Local 600 in Michigan provided the margin of victory, with production workers at the Dearborn Truck Plant outside Detroit supporting the deal by a 3–1 margin. The agreement will give Ford workers their biggest raises since the beginning of the Great Recession, and the company promised to invest $9 billion in its U.S. plants, but opponents objected that it preserved lower wages for workers at parts suppliers and would take too long to bring second-tier workers’ wages up to par with experienced workers.
“Our UAW members have ratified the national agreement after a long process and much debate," union President Dennis Williams said in a statement. "The voice of the majority has secured a strong future that will provide job security and economic stability for themselves and their families.” The returns came in the same day as the UAW formally ratified its contract with General Motors, after negotiations to resolve issues that caused skilled-trades workers to reject the deal two weeks earlier.