Ford Workers Ratify Agreement in Close Vote

The Ford Kuga is built in Louisville and exported to Europe. We hope it lands here.

The Ford Kuga is built in Louisville and exported to Europe. We hope it lands here. (Ford)

After a tense two weeks of voting, with plenty of drama last week when it appeared Ford workers were well on their way to rejecting a new UAW contract, the agreement was ratified late on Tuesday, October 18.

Members of UAW Local 862 in Louisville, Kentucky voted 53.3 percent in favor of the pact. Because the two Louisville Ford plants employ a whopping 13.3 percent of the total manufacturing employees at Ford, their votes were enough to push approval of the contract over the top, even though a number of plants had still yet to vote. The workers in Louisville make products like the Ford F-150, Explorer and Escape.

After the vote concluded, Todd Dunn, president of Local 862 said “It was closer than I thought it would be. Now we’ve got to look at how the work is going to come in.” 

The four-year contract will give each of Ford’s 40,600 hourly workers a $6,000 signing bonus. They’ll also benefit from a profit-sharing bonus plan that’s estimated to be slightly above $4,000 – meaning each can expect to receive more than $10,00 before 2011 is over, in addition to their regular take home pay. And we thought General Motors’ $5,000 signing bonus was generous!

Now that the contract drama is over, it’s up to Ford to make significant investments – billions in upgrades and retooling – in their U.S.-based manufacturing plants, adding 10,000 new jobs to the struggling economy, 4,000 of which will come simply from moving Fusion production stateside back from Mexico. The Fusion is Ford’s best selling car, and they’re on pace to move well north of 200,000 by the end of 2011.

About Cecil Helton

Cecil Helton Cecil Helton is a U.S.-based writer and editor with passions for cars, motorcycles, boats, technology and social media. Much of his professional life since 1996 has been web-centric, and he’s written and developed content on a variety of subjects. His work in the houseboat industry received wide acclaim, such as winning the 1999 Cisco Systems Growing with Technology award and being named one of five finalists in the manufacturing sector of the 2000 Computerworld-Smithsonian Awards. As an Air Force brat, he spent much of his childhood in a two-year cycle of moving to a new place, making new friends, establishing a life, and then moving again. Destinations included: Kentucky, Illinois, Texas, the Greek isle of Crete, California and Ohio. Today you’ll find Cecil coping with his 15 year old son’s decision to pursue a motorcycle license at the same time he gets his driver’s license, being active across the web on multiple social media sites, and of course, writing articles and creating content on automotive and car insurance related topics right here at

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