Auto Workers to lobby for seat on board at Ford

Bloomberg News / July 30, 2011

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DEARBORN, Mich. - The United Auto Workers will ask Ford Motor Co. for a board seat during negotiations for a new labor contract, union president Bob King said yesterday.

Ford and the UAW began talks yesterday for a labor contract to replace an agreement that expires Sept. 14.

Ford is the only US automaker that faces the threat of a strike in this year’s negotiations with the UAW. Workers at General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group, as part of US-backed bankruptcies in 2009, agreed not to strike during these contract talks.

UAW members at Ford in 2009 rejected a strike ban similar to the ones at GM and Chrysler, in which unresolved differences would be decided by an arbitrator. Ford did not seek a US bailout after borrowing more than $23 billion in late 2006.

Ford generated a total of $9.3 billion of net income in 2009 and 2010, and $4.9 billion in this year’s first half. GM and Chrysler started their negotiations with the Detroit-based union earlier this week.