Ford raised pay for thousands of workers just before union contract expires

Ford said it fast-tracked pay raises for nearly 8,000 workers represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union over Labor Day, just days before its contract with the union is set to expire.

Under the pay increases, which were negotiated by Ford and UAW in 2019, thousands of workers reached top wage rates with as little as four years on the job, compared to the standard eight years, according to Ford.

The automaker said, on average, UAW-represented Ford employees received a bump of $4.33 per hour, or $9,000 per year.

“These pay raises are an example of Ford’s commitment to improving the lives of our hourly workforce,” said Bryce Currie, Ford’s vice president of manufacturing, in a press release. 

“The negotiating teams nicknamed this deal ‘23 Jump Street’ because in 2023 a significant number of UAW-Ford team members would see a jump in pay,” he added. “And we are offering further improvements in the next contract.”

Ford highlighted the pay raises Thursday, just one week before its contract with the union is set to expire. UAW members voted late last month to strike against the Big Three automakers — Ford, General Motors and Stellantis — if they fail to reach a “fair deal” before their contract expires Sept. 14.

Ford is the only member of the Big Three to put forward a proposal so far, suggesting a 9 percent general wage increase over the span of the contract. However, UAW President Shawn Fain slammed the offer last week, saying the “wage proposals not only fail to meet our needs, it insults our very worth.”

UAW is reportedly expecting to receive an offer from General Motors on Thursday, while Stellantis has said it plans to provide the union with an offer by the end of the week, according to Reuters.

Tags automakers Ford General Motors Stellantis UAW strike UAW union United Auto Workers