NLRB hearing on union at Tenn. Volkswagen plant concludes

No details were released, but Ford’s agreement is expected to be similar to the contract GM workers are expected to approve this weekend. The UAW has announced the union has reached a proposed tentative agreement with Ford. “The agreement, if ratified, will help lead the Ford Motor Company, our employees and our communities into the future”.

The settlement at Ford comes after the UAW reached a deal with GM that was richer than the contract it negotiated with smaller and less profitable Fiat Chrysler Automobiles last month. The deal will cover 52,900 of the corporation’s U.S. factory workers.

Workers’ expectations were high heading into contract talks this summer and UAW officials sought to get a slightly better deal at Ford, the only Detroit vehicle maker to avoid bankruptcy during the recession.

The Fort Wayne vote was seen as crucial because it came a day after workers at another large truck plant in Wentzville, Mo., near St. Louis, approved the four-year contract, with about 57 percent of 3,500 workers OK’ing the deal. In a video posted on social media, Todd McDaniel, chairman of the UAW-GM National negotiating committee and chair of UAW Local 362 in Bay City, Mich., addressed concerns about job security.

There are also specific provisions for “skilled tradespeople”, who are a separate category of workers, that could increase their responsibilities and, in time, reduce their numbers. UAW leaders from Ford’s plants will meet Monday in Detroit. In 2011, the union reached a tentative deal with Chrysler while Ford voting was taking place.

There was no immediate comment from GM. Skilled trades workers such as pipe fitters and electricians, may be able to thwart the ratification. But for VW, it’s an all-or-none situation if an election happens, VW says all 1,400 of the plant’s blue-collar workers should participate. Approximately 200 full- and part-time adjunct professors, including assistant and associate adjunct professors at Barnard College in NY City, voted to unionize with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union.

All in-progression employees are moved to traditional health care plan. The Fiat-Chrysler deal set an eight-year path from hiring to top pay, which goes from $17 per hour to almost $30. Several workers told WSWS reporters that they felt outraged by the fact that only 4,000 workers were being offered retirement incentives although a few 20,000 are eligible to retire.

Earlier this week, workers at the GM Arlington plant voted against ratification, joining at least four other GM plants that refused to accept the four-year contract. With vote results in from all but a handful of plants and parts warehouses, the four-year contract was approved by about 55 percent of those who had voted as of Friday afternoon, based on a combination of actual numbers reported and estimates.

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