According to a former industry executive, the recent agreement reached between Ford and the United Auto Workers (UAW) has drawn criticism. The executive accused the labor union of having a lack of consideration for automakers.
During an interview on “The Cats Roundtable” on WABC 770 AM, Bob Lutz, an experienced executive who has worked for all three of the “Big Three” automakers facing strikes, emphasized that this particular labor negotiation is unlike any other. He explained that the labor union, which is government-sanctioned and monopolistic, had figuratively pointed a gun to the head of the automakers.
According to the speaker, the UAW had always been mindful of the necessity for automobile companies to remain competitive in the past. However, this time around, they seemed to have disregarded this fact, resulting in the loss of crucial advantages. The concessions made during the negotiations were the very same issues that caused significant problems for the American automobile industry in 2008.
After a period of over six weeks of strikes that spread throughout the United States, the UAW and Ford managed to reach a promising tentative labor agreement. According to The Hill, the negotiations between the two parties have finally resulted in a positive outcome.
According to the terms of the agreement, the four-year contract will include a salary hike of 25 percent throughout its duration, with the initial increase of 11 percent occurring in the first year. Additionally, the cost-of-living adjustments may result in pay raises of up to 33 percent.
In a video message on Wednesday, UAW President Shawn Fain announced that a tentative agreement had been reached with Ford. He emphasized that their months-long Stand Up Strike had paid off, as they had been pushing for record contracts based on the company’s record profits. Fain expressed his gratitude toward the UAW family for their unwavering support throughout the negotiations.
Stellantis, which is also a part of the “Big Three,” has stepped up by offering to match the pay hike proposed in the UAW deal with Ford. This move has garnered a lot of attention, and everyone is eagerly waiting to see if General Motors will follow suit and reach an agreement with the union.
According to a report by The Associated Press on Friday, Fain would have proceeded with the addition of factories to the strikes if GM and Stellantis hadn’t reached an agreement.
In mid-September, over 16,000 Ford employees were forced to join picket lines as the UAW initiated a strike at three of the company’s facilities after the expiration of workers’ contracts.
The union has put forward a set of demands that includes an increase in wages, a reduction in work hours, the provision of union representation for workers in battery plants, and improved retirement benefits. This would include the restoration of pensions for new hires.
Currently, there are over 45,000 members of the union who are participating in a nationwide strike out of a total of approximately 150,000 members.