Ford’s attack on the Jeep Wrangler will resume in earnest as the Bronco plant returns to full production, with a UAW strike now in the rear view mirror (assuming workers vote their approval of the deal).
While Ford leaders had said the company would be bankrupted by anything beyond their prior offers, the company quickly went to a new deal which increases pay for temporary workers, who currently start at around $16 per hour; raises at Ford plants with lower pay to bring them into equality with other plant workers; and a 25% cumulative wage increase over four and a half years (11% up front). The latter is similar to the one automakers offered their Canadian workers over just three years.
The deal is a major win for Ford, which will probably be able to resume full production long before GM and Stellantis do, but it is also a win for the UAW, which will be able to keep pay in line with inflation rather than taking yet more concessions; a cost-of-living adjustment is part of the deal.
Stellantis’ last proposal included a 23% increase, a longer period for adjusting wages for new employees, equal pay for workers at all facilities, a $20/hour starting pay for temporary workers (Ford offered $21 and conversion to full time status for most existing temps), a cost of living allowance after one year, some layoff protection, the right to strike over plant closures, some delays to outsourcing, and an increased 401(k) contribution. The union is particularly concerned over the closure of 18 facilities, the proposed sale of the headquarters campus, conversion of warehouse jobs to nonunion status, and new battery plants opening as nonunion shops in a right-to-work state.