Ford workers approve new national UAW contract - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Ford workers approve new national UAW contract

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Local Ford workers narrowly approved a new four-year labor agreement, but their turnout helped ensure that the United Auto Workers agreement passed nationwide.

The passage of a new national contract means Ford will invest $600 million in Louisville's two Ford plants and add more than 1000 new jobs to the assembly line as part of a new vehicle production line.

Workers voted Monday and Tuesday at UAW Local 862 union hall on Fern Valley Road. The contract passed with 53.3 percent of workers voting "yes" and 46.7 percent voting "no."

Local UAW 862 President Todd Dunn said, "I thought the numbers would be real close," but later said the vote was closer than he expected.

When asked if he were pleased that the contract was approved locally, Dunn said: "I'm happy that the work is here. This is what we need to do is bring the work back in the United States."

The contract calls for Ford to add a new vehicle in Louisville (in addition to the new Escape set to roll off the production line at the Louisville Assembly Plant next year). It also calls for adding up to 1,600 new jobs. Current workers would get a $6,000 signing bonus, but no pay raises.

The contract received mixed reviews here – where many workers interviewed over the past few days were upset the deal did not include a pay raise or make up for previous concessions.

"The most important thing is we have a job. We have a good wage, good insurance. There are several things that are good about this contract," said Brandon Dehart.

Dehart has been at the Louisville Assembly Plant for 11 years, but most recently has been on temporary layoff. He's excited about the prospect of returning to work.

But others like Jim Glaser were upset but understood the consequences.

"You gotta have a job. We'll work and they'll pay us what they pay... it's what we are going to get. It would be nice to have a raise," Glaser said, whose been a 12-year veteran of the Kentucky Truck Plant.

The new vehicle coming to the Louisville Assembly Plant has not been named. Ford Motor Co. will get $240 million in tax incentives from the state of Kentucky as a result of the deal.


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