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Ford Hit by British Strike

White-collar workers walk; production impact minimal.

by on Jun.19, 2012

Ford's Dagenham operations were among seven facilities hit by the strike.

Ford Motor Co. workers in Britain are back on the job this morning after a 24-hour warning strike but barring a settlement in a contract dispute the maker could be looking at another walkout in the coming days.

While the U.K. has a history of labor-management confrontations, this week’s strike is unusual in that blue-collar line workers were not impacted.  It’s Ford’s white-collar staff that staged the 24-hour walkout over plans to cut their pay and restructure a defined-benefits pension program.

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“To date Ford has failed to make any genuine attempts to resolve this dispute,” said Roger Maddison, an official with the British union Unite.  “We fiercely oppose the closure of Ford’s final salary scheme to new entrants because we believe ultimately Ford will try to close the entire scheme.”

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Contract Deadline Hours Away, Ford and UAW Agree to Extension

Union focusing on GM, Chrysler for new contract.

by on Sep.14, 2011

For the moment, at least, the UAW has delayed the threat of a strike at Ford.

The United Auto Workers has backed away from a potential strike at the Ford Motor Co. by approving an indefinite contract extension with the automaker.

The current UAW contract was scheduled to expire at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday and the union could have automatically called a strike. Union members approved a strike at Ford earlier this month.

“I can confirm that Ford and the UAW have agreed to continue bargaining past the expiration of the current contract in an effort to reach a tentative agreement that is in the best interest of both parties,” said Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans.

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“At this time,” she added, “we are not going to provide further comment about the nature of our discussions, or speculate about timing or the potential outcome of our talks,” Evans.

Meanwhile, the UAW continues to negotiate with General Motors and Chrysler in anticipation of reaching a final agreement.

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Contract Talks Drag as Deadline Approaches

Will union dig in for battle at Ford?

by on Sep.07, 2011

Workers on a GM assembly plant in Flint. The domestic giant could be targeted first as contract talks come down to the wire - but a strike is barred by law.

Talks between the United Auto Workers Union and Detroit’s three automakers have slowed in recent days even as workers at Ford voted in favor of a strike and UAW officials brushed aside reports it has elected to focus on General Motors as its target as its contracts expire Sept. 14.

Michele Martin, UAW spokeswoman, said in an e-mail the union had not picked a target to focus on yet after several reports surfaced indicating the union had decided to concentrate on GM in a bid to win a contract that could then be used as a pattern for a settlement with Ford and Chrysler.

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Meanwhile, negotiations with all three automakers are moving slowly, according to those familiar with the talks. Sources at the three automakers indicated the negotiations are bogging down and in places have not gotten much beyond the subcommittee level.

UAW President Bob King, however, said in a television interview over the weekend he thought the talks were going well. The negotiations involve new contracts covering more than 112,000 workers at General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.

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