The United Auto Workers are working with Ford to address a grievance signed by nearly 35,000 hourly workers. The employees are upset that merit pay and 401(k) matches were reinstated for salary workers in 2010, but they weren't for their hourly counterparts. The Detroit Free Press reports that members of the UAW would like to have the issue resolved before national labor talks kick off next month, but leaders within the organization have said that the dispute only needs to be taken care of by the time the new labor contract is put before members for a vote.

The union points out that its Ford workers haven't had a pay increase since 2003. The automaker, meanwhile, contends that its wages are $8 an hour higher than foreign-owned plants in the States. Ford recently paid out profit-sharing checks that averaged $5,000 last year, but the UAW maintains that those checks aren't the same as a permanent merit-pay increase.

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