Two weeks ago, we reported that General Motors, the largest automaker in the world, had come to agreement on a new labor contract with the United Auto Workers (UAW). All that was left was for the workers to cast their votes on the contract, and the UAW announced today the agreement had been ratified.
Support for the new labor deal by GM workers was overwhelming, with 65 percent of production and 63 percent of the skilled-trades voting ‘yes’. And with good reason: General Motors had agreed to reopen the Spring Hill, Tennessee plant that formerly housed Saturn, meaning thousands of new jobs would come; and they were offering a “signing bonus” of $5,000.00 for every single worker if the contract was approved.
With the economy looking like it’s headed for a double-dip recession, money and jobs are two things on everyone’s mind. Now that GM is settled, and talks with Chrysler have already broken down, the UAW has moved on to Ford Motor Company, where they’ve started negotiating a new labor accord with Ford, and new jobs are also at the heart of Ford’s initial proposals, even though the two sides are still early in the process.
Bloomberg reports that Ford has talked about adding as many as 10,000 new workers to its operations in the United States, including 4,000 that would come just from shifting Fusion production from Mexico back stateside. The Fusion is a favorite choice of many consumers, and it’s Ford’s best selling car. Ford has moved almost 170,000 through August.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally told Bloomberg that “We’re still seeing economic expansion,” and that Ford intends on adding 7,000 of those 10,000 proposed jobs in the next two years.