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HomeAutoFord CEO rebuffs UAW chief's criticisms as strike deadline on Thursday approaches

Ford CEO rebuffs UAW chief’s criticisms as strike deadline on Thursday approaches

Ford CEO Jim Farley speaks with media after revealing the 2024 Ford F-150 for the Detroit auto present on Sept. 12, 2023.

Michael Wayland / CNBC

DETROIT – Ford Motor CEO Jim Farley rebuffed feedback by United Auto Staff President Shawn Fain that the corporate is just not taking bargaining seriously forward of a Thursday evening strike deadline, putting blame on the union chief for not displaying as much as the bargaining desk – each figuratively and actually.

Farley mentioned the corporate has obtained “no real counteroffer” on its 4 financial proposals, together with the most recent provide that Ford is asking essentially the most beneficiant ever between the UAW and firm. He additionally mentioned Fain, who’s concurrently negotiating with General Motors and Stellantis, was absent throughout a Tuesday assembly that he and Ford Chair Invoice Ford anticipated Fain to attend.

“We’re right here, we’re prepared to barter, but it surely’s certain laborious to barter a contract when there isn’t any one to barter with,” Farley informed reporters Wednesday evening on the sidelines of the Detroit Auto Show. “We’ve got time left, but it surely’s laborious to barter when you do not get any suggestions again.”

Farley’s feedback got here roughly 24 hours after he informed reporters Tuesday that he was optimistic the corporate may attain a cope with the union.

Public criticism between the union and an automaker aren’t unprecedented however the quantity of element being launched, announced strike plans and simultaneous bargaining definitely are.

Farley mentioned he did not know Fain had obtained the provide till he was discussing it throughout a 5 p.m. ET Facebook Live with union members. He additionally questioned whether or not Fain is just too busy already “planning strikes or PR occasions that we won’t get the suggestions to make the most effective provide.”

UAW President Shawn Fain chairs the 2023 Particular Elections Collective Bargaining Conference in Detroit, March 27, 2023.

Rebecca Cook dinner | Reuters

A UAW spokesman didn’t instantly reply for remark concerning Farley’s feedback or a letter launched on his behalf by the corporate countering a lot of Fain’s criticisms.

The union has argued the businesses know their calls for. They embody: formidable targets of 40% hourly pay will increase, a decreased 32-hour workweek, a shift again to conventional pensions, the elimination of compensation tiers and a restoration of cost-of-living changes, amongst different objects.

Farley declined to straight reply a query about whether or not he believes the union is bargaining in good religion, which may justify a criticism with the Nationwide Labor Relations Board.

The UAW late final month filed unfair labor practice charges in opposition to GM and Stellantis to the NLRB for not bargaining with the union in good religion or a well timed method. It didn’t file a criticism in opposition to Ford.

Ford CEO: We have yet to receive a legitimate counteroffer from UAW

As launched Wednesday by UAW, Ford’s most up-to-date proposal included among the union’s calls for, however not all of them. It included 20% wage will increase; a “poor” restoration of cost-of-living adjustment, reworked profit-sharing formulation; 90-day development for “temp,” or supplemental, staff to grow to be common staff; and different advantages corresponding to elevated trip days and two-week paid parental go away.

Fain mentioned Ford and its crosstown rivals rejected the union’s retiree and health-care proposals.

If the UAW and the businesses can not attain a deal by an 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday deadline, Fain mentioned the union will implement focused strikes at sure crops in opposition to the Detroit automakers.

Throughout his Fb occasion, Fain mentioned he believed strikes against the companies are “likely.”

“To win, we’re possible going to need to take motion. Simply as now we have approached our negotiations otherwise than now we have previously, we’re getting ready to strike these firms in a manner they’ve by no means seen earlier than,” Fain mentioned.

Right here is the complete textual content of Farley’s letter following Fain’s remarks:

The Ford crew continues to place 100% of our power into reaching an settlement with the UAW that rewards our valued staff and permits the corporate to take a position sooner or later. If there’s a strike, it isn’t as a result of Ford did not make a fantastic provide. We’ve got and that is what we will management.

In truth, now we have put 4 gives on the desk beginning Aug. 29 and each has been more and more beneficiant. We nonetheless haven’t obtained any real counteroffer.

On Tuesday, Invoice Ford and I sat down with the union on the major desk for a significant provide. As we have been strolling within the room, we discovered President Fain wouldn’t be attending. However, Invoice and I laid out a traditionally beneficiant provide to the UAW Ford bargaining crew as a result of we listened to the UAW calls for and we care about our staff. Listed here are the details. Ford:

• Considerably elevated our proposal on wage will increase;
• Provided Value of Dwelling Changes, or COLA;
• Absolutely eradicated wage tiers so all staff can obtain industry-leading wages – and shortened to 4 from eight years the time it takes hourly staff to achieve the highest wage;
• Elevated contributions to in-progression retirement financial savings;
• Protected well being care advantages that might proceed to rank within the prime 1% of all employer sponsored medical plans for lowest worker value sharing; and
• Added extra paid day without work, with as much as 5 weeks of trip and 17 paid holidays annually (with the addition of Juneteenth).

The primary we discovered President Fain obtained the provide was on Fb Reside this night. So once more, we’re right here and able to attain a deal. We must be working creatively to unravel laborious issues reasonably than planning strikes and PR occasions.

Please keep in mind that Ford, greater than another firm, has wager on the UAW and handled the UAW with respect. We’ve got been extremely supportive of the union. We’ve got gone effectively past any contract language in including jobs and funding.

The way forward for our {industry} is at stake. Let’s do the whole lot we will to avert a disastrous final result.

Correction: Ford CEO Jim Farley’s remark’s have been made Wednesday evening. A earlier model of this text misstated that time-frame.

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