Ford Motor Co. could shift work promised to its Sterling Heights axle factory as part of a tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers to a German supplier after the local union voted overwhelmingly against the deal, according to a union source.Ooops,They just learned that when you vote to make yourself uncompetitive, you can't be surprised when management moves the work to where the company can be competitive.
Now, some workers there are organizing a petition urging UAW President Ron Gettelfinger to call for a revote.
Spurred on by union dissidents who say the time for concessions is over, rank-and-file members at plants across the country have cast their ballots against the proposed contract changes, which were negotiated by Ford and UAW leaders earlier this month. While the union has not released any numbers, people familiar with the situation said about 3,000 more workers have so far voted against ratification than have voted in favor of it.
As always, elections have consequences:
Under the terms of the agreement, Sterling Axle was supposed to get new rear-wheel drive work that would have added about 100 jobs. Now, union sources fear that work will be given to Getrag Corp., a German supplier with a nonunion factory in North Carolina. Local union leaders also were told Ford is considering outsourcing other components made at the plant, where 80 percent of workers voted against ratification.
Some workers are waking up to reality:
"I don't think people here really understood that the work we had been promised was contingent on ratification," said Sterling Axle UAW member Brian Pannebecker, who voted in favor of the agreement and is now helping to organize a petition in support of revote.
Hopefully the UAW Workers start to realize that shafting Ford with an uncompetitive agreement means a whole lot of drive-shafts will be built without them.