In a surprise move, United Auto Workers (UAW) members at Ford Motor Company’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville walked off the job on Wednesday evening. The strike, which involved 8,700 workers, was the latest escalation in the UAW’s ongoing negotiations with Ford, General Motors (GM), and Stellantis.
As noted by the UAW in a post, the strike was called by President Shawn Fain and Vice President Chuck Browning after Ford refused to make further movement in bargaining.
“We have been crystal clear, and we have waited long enough, but Ford has not gotten the message. It’s time for a fair contract at Ford and the rest of the Big Three. If they can’t understand that after four weeks, the 8,700 workers shutting down this extremely profitable plant will help them understand it,” Fain said.
Ford has responded to the strike with a strong criticism of the UAW leadership’s tactics. The automaker noted that the union’s walkout was “grossly irresponsible” but unsurprising considering the UAW leadership’s intention to keep the Detroit 3 wounded for months through “reputational damage” and “industrial chaos.”
Ford clarified that it had made an outstanding offer to the UAW, and it was one that the union publicly described as the best offer on the table. The automaker also highlighted that Ford was the only automaker that added UAW jobs since the Great Recession.
“Ford made an outstanding offer that would make a meaningful positive difference in the quality of life for our 57,000 UAW-represented workers, who are already among the best compensated hourly manufacturing workers anywhere in the world. In addition to our offer on pay and benefits, Ford has been bargaining in good faith this week on joint venture battery plants, which are slated to begin production in the coming years.
“The UAW leadership’s decision to reject this record contract offer – which the UAW has publicly described as the best offer on the table – and strike Kentucky Truck Plant, carries serious consequences for our workforce, suppliers, dealers, and commercial customers,” Ford wrote.
The Kentucky Truck Plant is Ford’s largest facility and one of the world’s largest auto factories. It generates $25 billion in annual revenue and employs over 9,000 workers directly. It produces the F-Series Super Duty, the Ford Expedition, and the Lincoln Navigator.
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