The proposed labor agreement between United Auto Workers (UAW) and Ford is at risk of failing after two major plants Tuesday voted it down.
The two major plants are located in Kentucky and voting ends Thursday with a few more plants yet to cast their votes. The union is working to secure labor agreements with several large automakers. It was able to finalize an agreement Oct. 22 with Fiat Chrysler but still needs to with General Motors and Ford.
From the two major plants, 65.5 percent voted against the contract, a UAW official told Reuters. Nearly 53,000 unionized Ford workers are eligible to vote. As of Tuesday, 26,000 workers have voted. Of those who did vote, 52 percent rejected the deal, reports the Detroit Free Press.
The proposed contract was approved Nov. 9 by local union leaders. Ford and the union promise the new agreement will help secure and create 8,500 jobs. It includes $9 billion in new investments and limits on outsourcing jobs.
The proposed contract will end the two-tier wage system. The policy allows some assembly workers to receive substantially less pay than others for the same work. It was implemented during the financial disaster of 2008 to help the auto industry withstand the financial crisis. With the improved economy, workers demanding it be done away with.
While the union works towards a Ford contract, it also faces problems at General Motors. Disagreement between production workers and skilled trades has pushed back the formal ratification of that labor agreement back, reports Fortune.
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