Monday, February 23, 2009

Ford UAW Reported to Reach Concession Agreement (memorandum)

UPDATED: Link to UAW Ford Contract Modification Memo

Concessions include:

Alternative Work Schedules

More buyouts

Overtime and Break modifications

Suspension of COLA

Suspension of performance bonus payments

Required participation in Direct payroll Deposit

Suspension of holiday bonus payments

The document, 8 pages in length also includes some guarantees about work levels, wages levels for work performed by secondary supplier, and an adendum addressing funding of the Health Care VEBA.

1939 Ford pick-up truckImage via Wikipedia

According to, Ford and the UAW have reached an understanding modifying the terms of their collective bargaining agreements that allows Ford some relief in funding a VEBA plan by permitting the option of cash or stock funding contributions.

Ford Motor Company announced on Monday morning that it has reached a
tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union on modifications to
the Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) retiree health care trust.

Ford said the agreement provides it with the option to settle with Ford
common stock up to 50 percent of the payments into the VEBA in lieu of cash.
Ford will consider each payment when it is due and use its discretion in
determining whether cash or stock makes sense at the time, balancing the
liquidity needs and preserving shareholder value.

The VEBA agreement, together with the agreement reached on Feb.15 by
Ford and the UAW to modify certain operating provisions of the 2007 National
Labor Agreement, is subject to ratification by the active UAW-Ford membership
and other conditions, including pursuing restructuring actions with other
stakeholders. Additionally, the VEBA agreement requires court approval.

"The agreements, if finalized, will allow Ford to become competitive with
foreign automakers' U.S. manufacturing operations, and are critical to our
efforts to operate through the current deep economic downturn without accessing
government loans and continue to fully invest in our ONE Ford product plan,"
said Joe Hinrichs, Ford vice president of Global Manufacturing and Labor

UAW President Ron Gettelfinger also announced this agreement. "The
modifications will protect jobs for UAW members by ensuring the long-term
viability of the company," he said in a statement.

Ford becomes the first of the Big-Three Detroit automakers to secure
union concessions on the key issue. GM and Chrysler are expected to follow the
deal because their bailout applications are required to get concessions from UAW
and stakeholders to cut costs.

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