After long debates which started earlier this year, the Ford Workers’ Union has approved the new union contract with GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler. This ratification came to pass at a narrow margin, even if Detroit automakers have started to become profitable once again.
One of the criticisms that this contract faces at this point is the fact that it doesn’t really account for all the concessions made by the union in order to facilitate its approval. Even if it may seem as a sign of faulty leadership, this happened because agreeing to such a contract is similar to bargaining, each of the parties involved must make sacrifices until they reach an accord. They simply took the best deal that still allows the union to walk the fine line in the global market, attempting to get higher paid jobs without losing any jobs in the process, while still remaining relevant when compared to foreign automakers.
Out of the three deals that were made yesterday, the contract between the UAW and Ford is the most profitable, with the Fiat Chrysler one following as a close second. For all workers involved in this contract, salaries will be raised, a fact that might seem to be extremely good, considering that some of them didn’t get a wage increase in the past decade or so.
But with these contracts comes a change in the two leveled paying system, slowly eliminating the difference in wages between veteran workers and new ones. At this point, a new worker at Ford will have to work there for around 8 years in order to achieve the same salary as a veteran worker. The average income of said worker will eventually go to about 60.300$ yearly, surpassing the amount of income that a middle-class worker would get, around 53.500$ per year. This sum is of course without the added profit-sharing and bonuses that automakers and workers will get throughout their contract.
Even if these new contracts are classified as more profitable than the ones before, they do not guarantee any annual raises in the coming future or any cost-of-living increases, this being sacrificed in order to facilitate profit-sharing. Further detailed information regarding the contracts which have been signed has of yet not been disclosed by either the parties involved.
The hope is that after the Ford Workers’ Union has approved the new union contract with GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, everything will turn out for the better, even if several conscession where made during the process, allowing for the American automarket to still remain in the race which at the moment is being led by foreign companies like Toyota and Nissan.