Ford Motor Co. has approached the United Auto Workers Union about changes in the contract that it negotiated in February before General Motors and Chrysler Group LLC used the threat of bankruptcy to obtain even greater concessions from the union.
Joe Hinrichs, Ford group vice president for global manufacturing, said that the company has already discussed possible changes with the UAW and is now ready to negotiate a revised deal.
“On economics we have the same package,” said Hinrichs, referring to the deals granted Chrysler and GM. However, Ford is looking for additional changes in contract language that would consolidate the number of skilled trades classification. That can translate into dramatic reductions in labor costs and marked improvement in productivity – as well as impacting quality.
Ford had won a reduction in earlier rounds of negotiations in 2006 and 2007, but the new GM and Chrysler contracts go even further, accepting just two classifications. Ford would like to obtain the same language.