December 1, 2015
Workers at two major Ford factories have rejected the labor pact, making more than half of all workers voting against the labor deal of the roughly 75 percent of union members who have already cast ballots, according to a recent iPR Newswire report. Ford Motor Co.’s labor deal had been in the works for four years with the United Auto Workers Union (UAW). For the deal to pass, more than half of Ford’s roughly 52,000 factory works in the U.S. must approve it.
If you or someone you know is dealing with employment issues and is in need of legal advice, contact a seasoned labor law attorney in NYC to answer any questions you may have about your rights and obligations under the law.
The Economics of the Deal
Compared to other contracts negotiated by the UAW, which were drawn up with Detroit automakers Fiat Chrysler and General Motors, the Ford contract is the most appealing. Specifically, it offers upfront a $10,000 signing and profit-sharing bonuses, pay raises scheduled to be phased in over time, and $9 billion in new investments.
Ford has benefited from record profits in North America in 2015 and, consequently, workers are pushing to end the company’s two-tiered wage division that has contributed to the additional revenues but places a heavy wage disparity between new and tenured workers.
The UAW had to negotiate twice with Fiat Chrysler workers because the first deal had too much of a gap between the wages of new and veteran employees. General Motors’ contract, although approved as a template for labor contract negotiations (which have to be approved independently), still has issues regarding the ranking of skilled employees that remains to be resolved. Unlike the Ford deal, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler offered signing bonuses of $8,000 and $4,000 respectively.
Labor Unions Explained
Labor unions have a long history in the United States. A union is a member-based organization that is made up of workers. One of the main goals of a union is to protect and advance the interests in of its members when it comes to the workplace.
Generally, a union is independent of any employer with which it negotiates, despite its close working relationship with these organizations. This relationship is often memorialized in the form of a partnership agreement between the union and the employer and lays out the organizations’ common objectives and interests. Some goals of a union may include
- discussing members’ concerns with employers;
- negotiation agreements on behalf of members regarding pay and working conditions with employers;
- providing members with legal and financial advice;
- accompanying members that are facing disciplinary and/or grievance meetings; and
- ensuring that the employer is following all procedures when it comes to making employment-related decisions.
NYC Labor Law Attorney
If you or someone you know is facing a labor dispute with management, works at a company whose employees are considering unionizing, or is experiencing any other employment issue, contact a seasoned labor law attorney in NYC right away. The knowledgeable employment attorneys at Levine & Blit have years of labor law experience and can provide a free no-obligation case evaluation. Call its New York City office at (212) 967-3000 today to schedule your initial consultation.