Louisville Ford workers remain on the job as UAW makes bargaining progress
The United Auto Workers said Friday it would not add more Ford facilities to its ongoing strike against the Big Three automakers. More than 12,000 union employees will continue working at two Louisville Ford assembly plants.
UAW president Shawn Fain said in a video announcement Friday that the union and Ford made “serious movement” in negotiations over the past week.
He said the company agreed to reinstate an old cost-of-living adjustment formula and give the union the right to strike over plant closures. He also highlighted other changes to Ford’s proposals, including to issues like profit-sharing and unequal wage tiers.
“But to be clear, we’re not done at Ford. We still have serious issues to work through,” Fain said.
Last week, Fain said the company had not met the union’s demands on wage increases, work-life balance and retiree pay increases. He did not directly mention those issues on Friday.
More than 12,000 Ford workers in Louisville are represented by UAW Local 862. On Thursday the union chapter held a rally at its headquarters on Fern Valley Road, where union leaders and local politicians spoke.
Rashad Martinez works at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville. He said the job hasn’t lived up to the expectations he had when he started eight years ago.
“It’s still not that Ford money that everybody was talking about. So we’re here to fight for what we deserve,” Martinez said.
The strike started a week ago, with UAW employees walking off at Ford, Stellantis and General Motors after the sides failed to reach new bargaining agreements by the time their four-year contracts expired.
The union initially targeted three assembly plants, one at each company and none in Kentucky. It threatened to have employees stop work at more facilities if the automakers didn’t make significant bargaining progress.
For now, the UAW isn’t expanding its strike against Ford. But Fain made good on the threat against Stellantis and General Motors on Friday, saying ongoing negotiations with them aren’t going as well.
The union had workers walk off the job at all of those two companies’ parts distribution facilities, affecting 38 locations across 20 states.