UAW workers at major Ford and GM truck plants vote no on record contract deals: NPR
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Auto workers at the Ford Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky, voted to reject a contract agreement reached by the United Auto Workers union.
According to vote trackers on the UAW’s website, results Monday showed that 54.5% of the 4,118 ballots cast in Kentucky — Ford’s largest plant — had no votes. The plant, which manufactures Ford F-Series Super Duty pickup trucks among other models, is expected to employ 8,700 workers.
This suggests the road ahead for the UAW may not be as smooth as the union’s leadership had hoped, after reaching record agreements with all three major automakers following a six-week auto strike.
GM workers in Flint also voted no
This follows another loss last week, when there were also no votes for 52% of the 3,425 ballots cast at GM’s Flint Assembly plant. Nearly 4,700 workers at this plant build Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks.
By most standards, the contracts were generous. It provides workers with a 25% pay rise, and in some cases more by 2027, cost-of-living bonuses and improved superannuation contributions.
But even with these historic gains, they do not return workers to where they were before 2007, when wages and benefits were cut amid tough economic times.
Most workers should vote for it
Only by 2027 could the top wage at each of the Big Three be where it was twenty years ago, adjusted for inflation, and none of the automakers have yielded to union demands to restore pensions and health care to retirees.
Despite these setbacks, a majority of union members overall still support the contracts, with about 10,000 votes cast so far at GM and 25,000 at Ford.
Most workers at the Big Three must vote in favor of ratifying the contracts for them to take effect. UAW President Sean Fine has repeatedly described workers as the highest authority in the union.
If the majority votes no, the negotiators will return to the negotiating table.
Finally, results from the Big Three automakers are expected this week and next.