December 7, 2023

In yet another sign of how tense and volatile the latest UAW contract negotiations have become, Ford CEO Jim Farley criticized publicly UAW President Shawn Fain, the speed of contract negotiations and what’s holding up a fair contract deal shortly after Ford learned Friday its Chicago Assembly was targeted by the UAW for expanded strike activity.

“What’s really frustrating is that I believe we would’ve reached a compromise on pay and benefits but so far the UAW is holding the deal hostage over battery plants,” Farley said in extended remarks following a Facebook Live in which Fain announced the UAW’s next targets.

“Keep in mind, these battery plants don’t exist yet. They’re mostly joint ventures. They’ve not been organized by the UAW yet because workers haven’t been hired and won’t be for many years to come,” Farley said. “The UAW is scaring our workers by repeating something that is factually not true. None of our workers today are going to lose their jobs due to our battery plants during this contract period or even beyond this contract. In fact, for the foreseeable future, we will have to hire more workers as some workers retire, in order to keep up with the demand of our incredible new vehicles.”

Ford CEO Jim Farley hosts a news briefing about the UAW talks on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023 shortly after learning that Ford was the focus of an additional strike target, this time at the Chicago Assembly Plant.

The multibillion-dollar electric vehicle battery plant planned for Marshall could get bigger or smaller, depending on a series of factors including labor costs, Ford said of the project it paused this week.

And the supply base is “on a knife’s edge already,” Farley said. Look at Michigan Assembly, which builds the Bronco, he said. “Suppliers there employ 125,000 hourly workers. In the plant we employ about 5,000. All those 125,000 hourly jobs are at risk as the strike moves on. If the UAW’s goal is a record contract, they’ve already achieved that.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *