US: Ford and UAW ‘close’ on new contract
Ford and the UAW have reportedly agreed on the broad terms of a new round of buyouts that would slash thousands of jobs under the terms of a new contract, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the ongoing talks.
Contract negotiations between Ford and the UAW have been moving slowly after the union extended its previous contract at the No. 2 U.S. automaker so it could focus on wrapping up labour deals with General Motors and Chrysler.
Working-level negotiators from Ford and UAW met on Friday and worked through the weekend, the sources told Reuters.
But the union leadership, including UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, has remained focused on the final ratification votes on a tentative labour contract with Chrysler after that deal was thrown into jeopardy by surprisingly strong dissent by UAW members.
Ford has already made it clear it will push for deeper concessions from the union than those offered GM or Chrysler, a position negotiators made clear in early talks, according to two people briefed on the talks.
In addition, Ford has indicated it was looking for about 8,000 to 10,000 additional factory job cuts, one of those briefed on the negotiations said. That would be in addition to the 27,000 UAW jobs Ford had cut as of June.
Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans told Reuters that the tally would be updated when the automaker reports its third quarter financial results. She declined to comment on the contract talks.
An additional 10,000 job cuts would mean Ford would have cut some 45 percent of its factory jobs as part of its turnaround plan, Reuters added.