The United Auto Workers are currently negotiating new labor contracts with The Detroit Three. Due to bankruptcy restrictions, UAW members working at General Motors and Chrysler and can't go on strike. Ford, on the other hand, didn't get a no-strike clause since it didn't go through the bankruptcy process. That means the UAW can walk off Blue Oval production lines if it chooses to do so, and it is already threatening to do just that if it doesn't get the agreement it wants when the current contract expires on September 14.
The Detroit News report on the matter is reminiscent of sports press reportage on the former NFL and current NBA lockouts: haves and have-nots, short memories, separate legal actions, and phrases like "they don't believe Ford's claims of poverty."
A couple of days ago, it was reported that preliminary voting was heavily in favor of a strike, and that wasn't a fluke: strike authorization is running at 97 percent – well above usual. But some UAW workers feel that the plants that are doing well, like the Dearborn Truck plant making the F-150 pickup, is a case of "The fat-cat plants want more," while plants that want more work are content for now to let Ford get healthier before asking for more.
A strike authorization from Bob King and company does not necessarily mean that there will be a strike if an amicable conclusion can't be reached, but it does give the UAW more ammunition than it has with GM and Chrysler.