Ford hiring elsewhere means 48% raise for some of its Louisville workers
DEARBORN, Mi., Louisville, Ky. (Feb. 4, 2015) — A $19,000 pay hike is coming to some of the Ford assembly plant workers in Louisville hired under a 2011 union contract. Ford’s business strategy is paying off for the company and employees alike.
Strong January sales of the new aluminum-based F-150 pickup truck are motivating Ford to add 1,550 workers at support facilities for that vehicle in Kansas City and Dearborn, Mich. The number of new jobs surpass a companywide target in the labor agreement for the number of employees paid at Ford’s entry level rate of $19.28 an hour, pushing the most senior of them to the “new traditional” wage of $28.50 an hour.
An estimated 300 to 500 workers in Louisville, Kansas City and Chicago will get the hefty pay hike based on their seniority. Ford does not know exactly how many workers at each location will be affected as its newest expansion is implemented.
The F-150 pickup, part of Ford F-Series, is enjoying its 38th straight year as America’s best-selling truck and 33rd straight year as America’s best-selling vehicle. Ford sold 753,851 trucks in 2014, but January 2015 was the strongest sales month since 2004, which was the company’s best sales year for the F-150 ever. An F-150 pickup was on dealer lots for only 12 days on average – the fastest sales turn time ever. The new F-150 has shifted to an aluminum alloy body rather than heavier steel, a move that trims its weight and improves milage.
“We’re excited about adding more jobs to these facilities for the all-new F-150,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president and director, National Ford Department. “And we’re also excited that Ford continues to make good on its commitment to our UAW members by transitioning entry-level employees to ‘new traditional’ wage status to support their career growth.”
The entry-level pay agreement negotiated as part of UAW-Ford collective bargaining has helped improve Ford’s competitiveness and enabled the company to invest more than $6.2 billion in its U.S. manufacturing facilities, said Bill Dirksen, Ford vice president for labor. Since 2011, Ford has hired more than 15,000 hourly UAW members – exceeding its goal of creating 12,000 hourly jobs in the United States by 2015.
“It demonstrates the importance of our entry level agreement with the UAW,” Dirksen said. “It has been instrumental in improving our competitiveness. It allowed us to invest more … in the Louisville Assembly Plant and in the Kentucky Truck Plant. It drives jobs growth.” In addition to satisfying consumers – the new F-150 “has been very, very well received” – Ford has done a good job of keeping the promises it made in the 2011 union contract, he said.
However, that deal expires this year, and Ford and the UAW must negotiate a new four-year labor agreement. Of the 1,550 new jobs announced this week, 900 are allocated for Kansas City Assembly and 500 will be added between Dearborn Stamping and Dearborn Diversified, with the remaining 150 jobs going to Sterling Axle. These jobs are in addition to the more than 5,000 hourly jobs Ford added across its U.S. manufacturing facilities in 2014.
Ford has 9,000 employees in Kentucky at LAP and KTP, which together produce approximately 2,000 vehicle a day. LAP turns out the Ford Escape compact SUV and the new Lincoln MKC luxury SUV. KTP builds Ford Super Duty Trucks (F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550) as well as the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator full size SUVs.
From the Archive:
• Louisville-built Ford sales remain strong (Dec. 2014)