Ford Motor Co. apparently won the right to close an engine plant as part of its new tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers, which also will include a somewhat smaller ratification “bonus” than the one the union signed at General Motors, $9,000 vs $11,000.
Ford, which was concerned about over capacity in power train factories, will be able to close an engine plant in Romeo, Michigan. The 600 employees at the Romeo plant would be moved to the Van Dyke Transmission plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, under the terms of tentative agreement with the UAW.
The UAW’s Ford Council is scheduled to discuss the tentative agreement during a meeting in Detroit Nov. 1.
Like other automakers, Ford is trying to find a balance between traditional powertrains built around internal combustion engines and electric motors, which are expected to become more widely used in the coming decade. The shift to electric powertrains is one of underlying factors in the proposed merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. and the French carmaker PSA.
The plant-closing process at Ford also has been far less dramatic than those ordered by General Motors last year. GM secured the right to close four sites in its recently approved contract.
Rory Gamble, the UAW vice president in charge of negotiations with Ford, said the new tentative agreement also includes guarantees of new investment that will bolster the job security of UAW members in the future.
“The pattern bargaining strategy has been a very effective approach for UAW and its members to secure economic gains around salary, benefits and secured over $6 billion in major product investments in American facilities, creating and retaining over 8,500 jobs for our communities,” Gamble said in a statement.
UAW President Gary Jones also thanked the national negotiators for their hard work.
“Vice President Gamble, his staff and the Ford negotiating team have worked tirelessly to reach an agreement that preserves job security and rewards UAW Ford members for their quality work,” said Jones.
“These were long and hard hours, but I feel confident they were able to secure a contract that protects our member’s future.”