Local UAW 862 informs members on Ford contract proposal

LOUISVILLE (WAVE) - It may be up to Louisville workers whether the UAW can seal a contract deal with Ford. This weekend Local 862 had a chance to learn more about the labor agreement.

Members had an opportunity to ask questions and get answers about the national contract in a closed-door meeting Saturday. The agreement would affect nearly 5,000 active members in Kentuckiana.

Local 862 Bargaining Committeeman Jeff Hale said representatives will explain the benefits, concessions and advantages in the deal. "They will have people here who were at the table to be able to fully explain the intent of the language in the contract," Hale said.

The running tally as of Saturday morning showed 56 percent of workers had cast votes in favor of the new contract which would give most workers a signing bonus of $6,000, and at least $16,000 in bonuses over the life of the pact, according to the Associated Press.

Veteran Ford auto plant workers make $28.12 per hour, and will see no increase in base pay. They have not received a base pay raise since 2003. Skilled trades workers make several dollars per hour more.

Wages for new hires that currently are about $15.50 per hour at Ford would rise to $19.28 per hour over the life of the contract.

The contract also calls for Ford to add a third shift to the Louisville Assembly Plant. The addition could mean hundreds of jobs once the Fern Valley Road operation reopens to build the Escape SUV.

Nationwide results should be finalized by October 20th.

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