Ford Motor Company said Thursday that it couldn’t improve its contract offer for the United Automobile Workers Union without harming its business or its ability to invest in electric vehicles.
The automaker said that the union’s decision to extend its strike to Ford’s largest factory, the Kentucky Truck Plant, will probably harm workers at other factories and lead to layoffs throughout the auto industry.
In a press conference, Kumar Galhotra said, “We’re very clear.” Galhotra is the president of Ford’s division that produces combustion engine vehicles. “We’re at the limit. “Any more would stretch our ability to invest in the business.”
The U.A.W. Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis (parent company of Chrysler and Jeep) are negotiating new contracts. Members of the union have taken strike action at certain plants and warehouses that belong to these three companies. The union’s response to the failure of its talks with Ford on Wednesday was to call for the 8,700 U.A.W. Workers at Kentucky Truck to walk off the job.
The U.A.W. president, Shawn Fain, said in an online video after the Kentucky strike was announced: “If companies don’t come to the table to take care of our members’ needs then we will respond.” Shawn Fain said this in a video posted online after the Kentucky strike was announced.
The plant in Louisville stopped production Wednesday evening. The plant produces Ford F-Series Super Duty pickup trucks, as well as Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators full-size sport utilities.
The Kentucky Truck plant alone generates 16 percent of Ford’s revenues. Every 37 seconds, a vehicle is produced at the Kentucky Truck plant.
It is so big that prolonged idleness will likely cause layoffs and stoppages in up to 13 Ford plants, which make engines and transmissions. Galhotra stated that factories owned by 600 suppliers who provide Ford with parts could also be forced to lay off workers.
He said that the impact of this goes far beyond Ford’s profit margins.
The U.A.W. The U.A.W. It wants to stop a system where new hires are paid a little over half of the U.A.W. The wage is $32 per hour.
Ford has proposed to raise wages by 23 percent in four years. It will also adjust the salaries to reflect inflation and reduce the time it takes for new employees to reach the highest salary to four years instead of eight.
The U.A.W. According to the union, Ford’s offer was expected to be sweetened at a Wednesday negotiating session. Ford is willing to talk about adjustments to the existing request, but Mr. Galhotra says that Ford will not make a new proposal.
Officials from the union and Ford Kentucky said that Mr. Fain told Ford workers to go on strike as soon as they became aware of the differences. Minutes after the meeting began, Mr. Fain left with other union negotiators.
In his video, Mr. Fain stated that “unfortunately, we were forced to escalate our actions.” Ford gave us the same offer that they had given two weeks earlier.