Ford CEO Jim Farley seems ready to take off the gloves with the ongoing UAW strike. In recent comments, the Ford executive publicly criticized UAW President Shawn Fain, as well as the factors that are holding up a fair contract deal.
Farley stated that the UAW has been holding a deal hostage over battery plant concerns. This was despite the battery plants themselves still being years away from operation. Thus, the UAW has not been able to organize the workers in the facilities because the plants have no workers yet.
“What’s really frustrating is that I believe we would’ve reached a compromise on pay and benefits, but so far, the UAW is holding the deal hostage over battery plants. Keep in mind these battery plants don’t exist yet. They’re mostly joint ventures. They’ve not been organized by the UAW yet because workers haven’t been hired and won’t be for many years to come.
“The UAW is scaring our workers by repeating something that is factually not true. None of our workers today are going to lose their jobs due to our battery plants during this contract period or even beyond this contract. In fact, for the foreseeable future, we will have to hire more workers as some workers retire in order to keep up with the demand of our incredible new vehicles,” Farley said, as noted in a Detroit Free Press report.
The Ford CEO also stated that if Ford wants to be competitive in the future, the UAW has to work with the automaker. Farley then shared some sharp works towards UAW President Shawn Fain, who the Ford CEO stated has been on TV a lot lately.
“If we’re going to take on the world, we have to do it together. Shawn has been on the TV more than Jake at State Farm at this point. I’ve heard what he wants, but I’ve never heard him say once why he believes the UAW can be the competitive advantage to Ford,” Farley said.
Fain responded to Farley’s comments, stating that Farley was lying about the state of the UAW and Ford’s negotiations. The UAW President accused the CEO of failing to show up for bargaining this week, and he also stated that the union has given Ford a comprehensive proposal on Monday, but Ford has not issued a response yet. Fain did state, however, that the UAW is available to talk anytime.
“I don’t know why Jim Farley is lying about the state of negotiations. It could be because he failed to show up for bargaining this week, as he has for most of the past ten weeks. If he were there, he’d know we gave Ford a comprehensive proposal on Monday and still haven’t heard back.
“He would also know that we are far apart on core economic proposals like retirement security and post-retirement health care, as well as job security in this EV transition, which Farley himself says is going to cut 40% of our members’ jobs. Like a good neighbor, we’re available 24/7. Name the time and the place you want to settle a fair contract for our members, and we’ll be there,” Fain said.
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