91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
We are currently having technical issues which are impacting some of our streaming services. You may not be able to hear Michigan Radio via your Google or Amazon home devices. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope to have a resolution soon. Streaming services are still available on the Michigan Radio app and website.

Ford union workers approve contract; Fiat Chrysler talks are next

Gary Jones stands at a UAW podium
United Auto Workers

Ford Motor Company and the United Auto Workers have a new, four-year contract with 56.3% of the vote.

Kristin Dziczek is an analyst with the Center for Automotive Research.

Dziczek says the deal is similar to the one the union reached with General Motors, with a few differences, like, the signing bonus.

"It's $9,000 at Ford and it was $11,000 at GM," says Dziczek, "but then of course GM workers were out on strike for 40 days."

She says there were some improvements to health insurance in the Ford contract that were not in the GM contract.

The Ford deal also sets a cap on the number of temporary workers the company can employ. 

“Every Ford employee and temporary employee will be at the top-rate for full-time status at the end of this four-year agreement,” said Acting UAW President Rory Gamble, who directs the UAW Ford Department. “This is a life-changing contract for many and provides a template for all future Ford UAW members to a full-time, top-rate status. There will be no more permanent temporary situations and no more permanent tiers.”

That could be a sticking point when the union sits down at the bargaining table with Fiat Chrysler.

Fiat Chrysler has more temporary workers than Ford does.

"Mike Manley, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler, on a financial call a week or so ago, said they had close to 13 percent of their workforce as temporaries.  So a cap company wide at 8% would require them to make some big changes."

Dziczek says a strike at Fiat Chrysler "isn't off the table."

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
Related Content