by WorldTribune Staff, March 18, 2021
The United Auto Workers (UAW), which endorsed Joe Biden in the 2020 election, is warning that a good number of American jobs are at risk as Ford plans to build a new vehicle in Mexico instead of Ohio.
Is it a case of you get what you vote for? Or is Ford, as the UAW contends, in violation of its contractual commitments?
“We 100 percent reject the company’s decision to put corporate greed and more potential profits over American jobs and the future of our members. We expect the company to honor its contractual commitments to this membership and when it fails to do so we will take action,” UAW Vice President Gerald Kariem said. “We are intensely exploring our options at this time,” he added.
Kariem said Ford in 2019 committed $900 million for a plant in Avon Lake, Ohio. The commitment would include a next-generation Ford model to be added to the production lines in 2023. That would have secured “employment well into the foreseeable future” for auto workers but he blasted Ford for not “honoring its promise.”
“Ford management expects us to just hang our heads and accept the decision,” Kariem wrote in a letter, which was dated March 12. “But let me be clear, we are making a different choice.”
Ford plant manager Jason Moore issued a letter to Avon Lake workers after UAW’s letter and said the conditions surrounding the expansion at the Ohio plant had changed.
“While conditions upon which the 2019 Administrative Letter were based have changed, the Company is investing in the plant and increasing production of Super Duty trucks,” Moore wrote.
Ford spokesperson Kelli Felker did not say whether the automaker would keep its agreement to invest in the Ohio plant.
“We are always looking at our options,” Felker told the Detroit Free Press. “We still plan to invest $6 billion and create and retain 8,500 jobs in America during the course of this four-year contract,” she said. “We are invested in [the] Ohio Assembly Plant and our dedicated workforce there.”