US: UAW and Ford settle crisis at pickup plant

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Ford Motor, the second largest US carmaker and the United Auto Workers union announced they managed to avoid a strike at an assembly facility in Kansas City that manufactures the top selling F-150 pickup trucks. Ford issued a release on Saturday claiming they “resolved the open items” at the Kansas City Assembly Plant and have also inked a tentative local agreement, without further releasing any details. UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles, the main union negotiator at Ford previously announced the positive news through a post on Facebook but also refrained from elaborating further on the deal. Settles announced last week the Union local in Kansas City, which has about 7,000 members, was crunching issues over seniority, staffing and safety issues with the automaker and workers threatened with a strike for Sunday if their terms weren’t agreed upon. With Ford’s F-150 pickup truck the main driver of the company’s global profits, the US automaker previously spent around $1.1 billion in the Kansas City facility to expand production output of pickups and commercial vans. The deal also comes during a surprise crisis – the UAW officials have failed to have workers ratify a proposed four-year contract at the third largest US carmaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, with 65 percent of members voting against the deal. Meanwhile, the Ford agreement found the UAW members negotiating from a force position, as Ford did not want further disruption to its pickup production after struggling to build inventory while it retooled the factories to handle the new generation F-150 that has axed steel in favor of aluminum –made bodies. Via Reuters