Auto/Economy
6:51 pm
Mon September 26, 2011

UAW, Ford talks heat up

Ongoing contract talks between the UAW and Ford are heating up.

The union has indicated it expects more for workers from the only Detroit automaker to avoid bankruptcy.

Since Ford is the best-positioned of the three US carmakers, union leaders expect to get better terms from that company than from GM and Chrysler.

If the two sides can’t come to an agreement, there is the possibility of a strike. Since Ford didn’t go through bankruptcy, it doesn’t have the no-strike clause in its current contract that the other companies enjoy.

Like its fellow US automakers, Ford is reluctant to increase its fixed costs by raising wages. But the union is expected to make a major push for bonuses, more generous profit-sharing formulas and retaining jobs in the US.

In the meantime, the UAW is also juggling ongoing contract talks with Chrysler. Entry-level wages and health care contributions are the major sticking points there.

The UAW and GM have already reached a tentative contract agreement. Union locals are set to vote on the plan this week.