In a response to Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford’s statements on Monday, the UAW noted that workers at non-union automakers like Tesla and Toyota are not the enemy. Instead, they are the UAW’s future members.
During his speech in Ford’s hometown of Dearborn, Michigan, Bill Ford noted that high labor costs could limit spending on developing new vehicles and investing in factories. The executive noted that if Ford loses its competitive nature against rivals, many jobs will be lost.
“It’s the absolute lifeblood of our company. And if we lose it, we will lose to the competition. America loses. Many jobs will be lost,” Bill Ford said. He also urged Ford’s workers to end their strike.
“We need to come together to bring an end to this acrimonious round of talks. I still believe in a bright future — one that we can build together. I still believe the automobile industry is a major force for good in our country. We will continue to be there when America needs us most,” he added.
President Fain's mention of the Rouge plant referred to comments made by Ford, who spoke at the facility this morning. Said Ford: "Ford’s ability to invest in the future isn’t just a talking point… if we lose it… many jobs will be lost… we’ll lose factories like the one we’re…— UAW (@UAW) October 16, 2023
In a response posted on X, UAW President Shawn Fain argued that Ford knows exactly how to end the ongoing strike.
“Bill Ford knows exactly how to settle this strike. Instead of threatening to close the Rouge, he should call up Jim Farley, tell him to stop playing games and get a deal done, or we’ll close the Rouge for him.
“It’s not the UAW and Ford against foreign automakers. It’s autoworkers everywhere against corporate greed. If Ford wants to be the all-American auto company, they can pay all-American wages and benefits. Workers at Tesla, Toyota, Honda, and others are not the enemy—they’re the UAW members of the future,” Fain said.
The UAW’s strike against Ford, General Motors (GM), and Stellantis has closed out its first month. The strike has so far covered about 34,000 of the union’s 146,000 members across the Detroit Big Three.
In a way, Fain’s statement may prove quite challenging, especially when it comes to Tesla. As noted by CEO Elon Musk, numerous Tesla workers have become millionaires despite being non-unionized. Tesla’s Fremont Factory may also be tricky as before it was purchased by the EV maker, it was a facility that faced shutdowns under the UAW’s watch.
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