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Local Ford Workers Vote Down Contract, May Not Matter

Dan Verbeck
KCUR 89.3

Union workers at Ford’s truck assembly plant in Claycomo have dented the push to ratify the new labor agreement worked out between Ford and the UAW. 

The new, 4-year agreement would trigger wage increases for all Ford workers, as well as $10,000 profit sharing and signing bonuses.  The agreement also commits Ford to invest another $200-million in the Claycomo assembly plant.  Both Ford and union leadership are backing the contract proposal.

The 7,500 union workers at Claycomo were among the first to vote on the contract, and they narrowly rejected the agreement. Fifty three percent of the production workers at Claycomo voted against the contract. A smaller, better paid group of workers classified as “skilled trades” voted to approve the contract by a very narrow margin. 

That doesn’t mean the contract won’t be ratified, though. Voting continues throughout the week, and as of Tuesday, a solid majority of North American Ford workers have been in favor of the new proposed contract. Ford and the union need a simple majority of 52,900 UAW members Ford employs to ratify the proposed contract.  

Frank Morris is the national correspondent for KCUR. You can reach him on Twitter @FrankNewsman.

I’ve been at KCUR almost 30 years, working partly for NPR and splitting my time between local and national reporting. I work to bring extra attention to people in the Midwest, my home state of Kansas and of course Kansas City. What I love about this job is having a license to talk to interesting people and then crafting radio stories around their voices. It’s a big responsibility to uphold the truth of those stories while condensing them for lots of other people listening to the radio, and I take it seriously. Email me at frank@kcur.org or find me on Twitter @FrankNewsman.
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