Up for ratification over the past week and into the weekend was a proposal that would essentially grant Ford the same measures that unionized auto workers extended to Chrysler and General Motors in the midst of their bankruptcy proceedings. The measures include limitations placed on the unionized workers' rights to strike for increased wages and benefits, as well as a reduction in paid vacation time, a broad wage freeze as well as one on cost-of-living adjustments and increased employee contributions towards insurance and pensions. The agreement would also allow the automaker more flexibility in shifting jobs around, and in exchange the workers expected more jobs to be created – or at least fewer to be lost.
Some union leaders pleaded with their constituents that ratification of the deal was essential to keeping all three of the Detroit automakers on an even keel, thereby maintaining a common ground on which to build negotiations for the future. However as voting drew to a close across the country this weekend, UAW members at three of Ford's largest U.S. plants – the Dearborn Truck Plant, Romeo Engine Plant and UAW Local 862 representing the Louisville Assembly Plant and Kentucky Truck Plant – all voted against the new contract, making its passage now virtually impossible.
[Source: The Detroit News | Image: Scott Olson/Getty]