LIMA — A tentative agreement between the UAW and Ford extends $80 million to the Ford Motor Co. Lima Engine Plant to continue upgrading the 3.3-liter/3.5-liter Cyclone engine and 2.7-liter/3.0-liter Nano engine, which will come before Local 1219 members for a ratification vote Wednesday, Nov. 13.
Voting on the contract started on Monday and will continue through Nov. 15.
Support for the agreement is split, with 2,073 members voting to ratify and 2,063 members voting to send the contract back to negotiators, according to a Friday afternoon tally from Automotive News.
The agreement secures $6 billion in product investments — including upgrades to the Nano and Cyclone engines in Lima — and promises to add or retain about 8,500 employees.
And while Ford plans to close the Romeo Engine Plant in Michigan, the company has agreed not to close any additional U.S. facilities for four years.
Michael Copeland, president of Local 1219 in Lima, said the tentative agreement also addressed many of the union’s issues with how temporary employees were treated by the company.
“That was a big one,” Copeland said, “getting the temporary language in better line with where senior employees are.”
Copeland expects a large turnout in Local 1219’s ratification election Wednesday.
While a strike against Ford is still unlikely at this point, Bernard Swiecki, director of the Center for Automotive Research’s Automotive Communities Partnership, which tracks UAW negotiations, said union management in some major locations has indicated their membership will not support the agreement as presented.
One concern, Swiecki said, relates to the rollout of new technologies that would track worker motions and movement.
“Should this not ratify, there’s absolutely a realistic chance that the union will have to play hardball with the company to get a better deal,” he said.
Do you work for the Lima Engine Plant? Share your thoughts on the UAW-Ford tentative agreement with The Lima News: Contact reporter Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456 or by emailing email@example.com.