Soldiers of Solidarity - Ford 2007 Contract Info

"Two tier is the concession that keeps on giving."
"It's time to make that line in the sand a trench."--Jerry Tucker

Ford Contract.pdf

Ford Skilled Trades Agreement.pdf

Ford VEBA MOU.pdf

UAW Ford Report (Ford Highlights).pdf

“If promises were cars that sold, Ford wouldn’t be knocking on workers’ doors with tin cup in hand.”
--L. Anthony Overfield
Ford-UAW 2007 Lowlights
                 [the negotiators’ copy is available to members in the Union Halls]


Ford is so busy closing or selling 9 of its 30 US plants while investing in Mexico, Brazil, China, and Turkey, they don’t have time to monkey around with core/non-core labels. All the new hires will be low tier no matter what they do.

The dangling carrot of a shot at top tier is a mirage. Jobs at Ford are disappearing faster than smoke in a tail wind. The pledge to replace workers on a one for one basis is laughable. The UAW never held the automakers accountable for the “one for two formula”. How is Ford going to replace one for one when almost a third of their US plants will close, trades will be exited or consolidated, and housekeeping trashed? It’s a lie. A damn lie.

If the the moratorium on outsourcing sounds like “Taps”, it’s because the mission was accomplished. Local COAs opened the floodgates prior to negotiations. The only solid commitment in this contract is wage cuts, job cuts, and discounts on obligations to retirees.

COLA diversions, the concession that compounds quarterly, will “continue in perpetuity”. [pg 24A of negotiators’ copy of the Ford-UAW Contract]. Ford will get a dividend from workers’ COLA every quarter. Ten cents per quarter plus an additional .17 cents. We can expect to lose as much as we made in Cost of Living on the last contract “in perpetuity.” That’s forever like solidarity used to be in the UAW.

The Con Caucus boasts of a one for one attrition replacement [pg 79A], but “Attrition replacement will be delayed during a market driven related layoff.” [pg 80A]

But there is a saving grace. “A seniority employee who is affected by a reduction in force and becomes a temporary part-time employee.....” [pg 73A] has a lot to look forward to.

“Seniority employees who are utilized as temporary part-time employees will be required to comply with the work schedule for temporary part-time employees.” In short, you will  have more flexibility and less routine. Get ready.

Pack your suitcase and grease the trailer hitch. Ford autoworkers will go where the winds of concessions blow them.

“In no event will a Protected employee remain on Protected Status more than two years, unless he or she has not received at least two job offers” [pg 83A].

You better take one of those offers. Otherwise, you will “be placed on inactive status with no company-provided income or benefits” [pg 83A].

Unless you are in one of the closed plants identified on page 163C. In which case, you “will be presented one final placement opportunity and a choice of one of the Special Retirement/Separation Program....”

If you don’t chose one or the other you “will immediately be placed on inactive employment status, with an immediate cessation of all Company-provided income and benefits, including health care.”

But at happier locations, Protected Status employees may be “given a mandatory job assignment within or outside the bargaining unit....” [pg 83A].

Such “Protected employees assignments will be considered temporary and not subject to provisions governing permanent filling of vacancies, or the application of shift preference....” [pg 86A].

Are you seeing the pattern yet? Loopholes and Nots.

“It is understood that placement on the basis of seniority will not be feasible in every instance.” But don’t worry, the company/union partners will jointly review the disregard of seniority rights with an eye to “the parties joint commitment to quality and efficiency of operations” [pg 107A].

The Ford-UAW Contract doesn’t differentiate between core and non-core jobs, but the Rawsonville and Sterling Axle plants will be exclusively low tier. Active Ford workers should take the time to study the wages and health care benefits  of these “entry level workers” [pgs 199-207A], so they’ll be ready when they get the new deal themselves in 2011. Just as the UAW has a long history of not enforcing Job Security agreements, two tier has a long history of bringing everyone down to the low tier. Case in point: Rawsonville and Sterling Axle.

The 20% factor for low tier workers who are not restricted from core jobs, as they are at Chrysler and GM, has a lot of exclusions. Workers at Rawsonville and Sterling Axle are not included in the 20%. And “previously negotiated COA outsourcing actions” [pg 90C] are not included in the 20%. And other work, “if insourced will be tracked separately and not included in the 20% entry level employment opportunities......” [pg 90C].

That’s a whole lot of low tier jobs on top of 20%. Add in the “Long Term Supplemental Employees” [pg 214C] and it’s a safe bet that low tier will be the majority in 2011.

The National (Take No Prisoner) Attendance Program includes “Rolling Measurement Periods” and is too Byzantine to describe in this limited space. You have to see this mousetrap for yourself [pgs 232C-236C].

Ford’s VEBA is the worst of the Big Three. Over the next two years “Ford will continue to pay for retiree health care benefits at a projected cost of $2.2 billion” [pg 14 UAW Ford Report]. After that Ford will contribute $13.2 billion toward the VEBA. Less than half of that amount is in cash, the rest is in promises [pg 15 UAW Ford Report].

If it requires $2.2 billion for retiree health care for two years, we can calculate the VEBA will last 12 years. That’s providing everything goes well and Warren Buffet volunteers to manage the investments.

Bob King has always had a special place in his heart for skilled trades. To see all the trade classifications that have been crossed out or asterisked (* “will not repopulate”) go to pages 10B-15B. After that, dine on such rich and hearty language as “Implementation of agreed upon consolidated skilled trades classifications, as agreed to in the 2007 National Agreement....” and enjoy the “helping hands concept” for desert [pg 68A].

You will be glad to learn that “Minor maintenance actions will be performed by production employees.....” [pg 69A].

Read all about skilled trades consolidations, and who is with who on this rendezvous [pgs 334C-351C]. The musical chairs routine may seem confusing but we are in good hands.

“Local agreements and work practices will not inhibit the intent or implementation of this agreement.” Which is, “reducing excess skilled trades population” [pg 333C].

The National Partners promise to strong arm disobedient local unions [Pg 350C].

This contract completes the revolution of the UAW from a union to a human resource management team. In “A Message to UAW Ford Retirees” [pg 14 UAW Ford Report] the Concession Caucus  warns members that Ford “lost $12.6 billion last year”, but neglects to mention that nearly 10 billion of the loss is what Ford estimates it will spend in the future to eliminate jobs and close plants. They put it on their books in 2006 for the write off.

Ford is so cash strapped they doled out a half billion dollars to investors in 2006; rewarded six top executives $53.8 million for their successful loss of US market share; plunked $6.5 billion cash on the table to buy down their debt to retirees via VEBA; publicly announced in 2006 a 6-year project to invest 9.2 billion dollars in Mexico, additional investments in Brazil, China, and Turkey, including 27.5 million dollars for a research and engineering center in China, and 375 million dollars for another in Turkey. In 2007 Ford bought a Rumanian car company for nearly one billion dollars, and spent another 500 million dollars to expand a plant in Thailand. All these investments overseas came from profits made by US labor.

    Don’t you wish you were as poor as Ford and had a big union to protect you?

         Contract language cited is available at www.soldiersofsolidarity.com
   
                                    Labor Donated



Ford-UAW 2007 Lowlights.pdf

36% of GM workers voted “No”
45% of Chrysler workers voted “No”
Ford workers can vote it down

The “No” vote at Chrysler was the biggest ever “No” vote against any contract that was ratified at the Big 3.

And since then, many Chrysler workers who voted “Yes” have been quoted as saying that they would have voted “No” if they knew about the layoffs that were kept secret until after the contract was ratified.

They want to sell us a contract based on false promises of “job security”. They want us to forget that this contract has concessions that will lead to a devastating drop in the standard of living for current autoworkers, future autoworkers, retirees, and workers across the country.

Why would we vote for something that will ruin our future?

Ford workers can make their own decision about this contract. Nothing says we have to follow a “pattern agreement”. Two years ago, Ford workers nearly voted it down when the contract was re-opened. Because of the strong “No” vote at Ford, Chrysler workers kept their 3% raise in 2006. They didn’t follow the “pattern” then.

If Ford workers vote down this contract, it can re-open the door for Chrysler and GM workers to make a fight. Their contracts were passed by false promises and misleading statements. There is no reason for anyone to respect a contract obtained by underhanded means.

For sure, it will take a fight by many workers to stop concessions. There is no reason why we at Ford can’t stand up and start that fight by voting “No!”

                    (signed)   Dearborn Truck Plant workers and Ford retirees

Gary Walkowicz         Melvin Lofton                          Alton Hill         
Glenn Foley               Kevin London                          Lynn Blosser       
Angelo Alexander      Sherry Poole                          Orrin Ivory         
Gerald Bailey             Barbara Smith-Wilson              Ricardo Cervera  
Charles Peters           Sarah A.McLean                      Debbie Hass          
Jacci Gaines              Dave Olson                              Rick Fletke     
Joyce Hill                  Ken Gadsby                            Robert Cunningham   Lonnie Spight            Charles Harvey                       David Champagne     Ron Pruett                Vern Hall                                R.D. Lee       
Tony Cecil                Donny Pruitt                            Michele Harris         
Susan Simpson         Eugena Jones                          James Coleman        Lawrence B. Bonner, Jr.         Connie Pruitt               Eddie Thomas          Shevonne Wilson       Shontelle V. Paul                    Lois McLawhorn       
Curtis Hunter              David Gelman                       Thomas Abraham Leonard Sledge          Johnnie Williams

We are voting NO on the contract because

New hires will make half our wages with reduced medical coverage and no real pension.
- This contract condemns our children and grandchildren to have a worse life than we do, even if they never work in auto. What happens in auto sets the standard.
- This contract destroys solidarity. If we don’t vote to protect new hires today, the companies will try to bring down all our wages in the next contract. And who will protect our pensions?

Ford says only 20% of the workforce will be low-wage. NOT TRUE!
- It will be 20% PLUS all new workers at Rawsonville and Sterling Axle, PLUS “long-term supplemental” employees, PLUS temporary part time employees; PLUS outsourced work that is brought back in. The total number will be way more than 20%.

Skilled trades jobs will disappear.
209 trades will be reduced to 22, and 23 more will “not repopulate.”
Basic machine repair pushed onto production workers.
“National Trades Governance Team” to override local agreements, practices.

Retirees will lose guaranteed medical coverage and pay more for it.
- The VEBA retiree medical fund was given only 57% of what it needs.
- The VEBA is NOT protected against bankruptcy. More than half is in Ford stock or notes, or promises to pay over the next 15 years.
- The VEBA’s directors can decide to increase charges and reduce benefits.

Active and retired workers will pay more for medical right now.
- We will pay more for office visits, prescriptions, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.

Our wage rates are frozen for 4 more years on top of last year.
- The only money we get are bonuses, which give us much less than pay raises.

Another $1.50 per hour will be stolen from our COLA.
While prices keep going up, we will fall behind.

Many more jobs will be lost.
- There is no job security in this contract. We were given the same false promises of “job security” as were the GM and Chrysler workers. Every promise of job security includes the language “based on market-related conditions”.

Ford cries broke, but they have the highest paid auto executives.

Stop this attack! Vote NO! Get this leaflet to  Ford workers in other plants!


Ford Vote It Down.pdf

Ford Vote It Down  Pg. 1.doc

Ford Vote It Down  Pg. 2.doc


More Information about the Ford Contract

November 7, 2007
From: Gary Walkowicz, Dearborn Truck Plant, A Crew, Motor Bay Bargaining Convention Delegate and Former DTP Chairman, Local 600

Current workers will lose over $17,000 in the 4 years of this contract
    The “UAW Ford Report” says we will gain $12,904 over the four years. This counts four bonuses, plus a small amount of COLA.
    BUT, we would have gained $30,529 if COLA hadn’t been given away and if we had kept 3% annual wage increases instead of bonuses.  ($9,732 total in COLA, and $20,797 more in wages.)

In 4 years, half the jobs could be low-wage, with few benefits.

To start with, 20% of the jobs will be filled by “entry-level” new hires, $14.20 to $15.34 an hour.

AND ON TOP OF THE 20%, ALL workers hired into Rawsonville and Sterling Axle will be “entry level.”
    They don’t count against the 20%.

AND many other workers are to be hired in at “entry-level wages” and won’t count against the 20%.
“Long-term supplemental employees” will now be hired in at entry-level wages, instead of at 70%. They can be hired for one year, and then rehired again.
    “Long-term supplemental employees,” who used to be paid about $18.50 an hour, can be hired full-time – but only as an “entry-level” worker, earning only $14.20.
    “Temporary part-time employees” will now be hired at “entry-level” wages.

Despite all the promises of “job security”, new products, and investments, workers can still be laid off for “market-related” conditions, as the GM and Chrysler workers have already found out.

There is a plant closing moratorium. But the 2003 contract also had a plant closing moratorium, and Ford still closed 6 plants:
St. Louis, Atlanta, Windsor Casting, Wixom, Norfolk, Essex Engine.

And at least 4 more plants already have been named to be closed or sold: Twin Cities, Cleveland Casting, Woodhaven Forging, Batavia.

Ford promised in the 1999 and 2003 contracts to maintain a certain level of jobs.  It didn’t fulfill the commitment. And the new contract lets Ford fill those slots with temporary part-time workers and long-term supplemental employees paid entry-level wages.

If you are laid-off, you can eventually be forced to take a job out of zone or lose all income and benefits.  Appendix M and N.

The Retirees’ VEBA Fund is NOT Protected Against Bankruptcy.
Federal regulations to protect retiree benefits require that there can be no more than 10% of the fund in company stock or other securities. But Ford is asking for an exemption from this law – almost 55% of the fund is in Ford notes, stock or other IOUs.

Funded at only 67%, the VEBA Is Not Protected against Running Out.
GM based funding on a 9% rate of medical inflation, Ford based it on only 6%. The real rate is almost 11%. Both are under-funded, but Ford’s is MORE under-funded.
A spokesman for Citigroup banks said that the actual funding in the Ford VEBA is only 46% of the liabilities, when medical inflation is taken into account.

We paid for the VEBA.
Much of the money Ford put in the VEBA came from COLA raises we didn’t get, or scheduled wage increases we didn’t get.  

There is a new company-wide attendance plan every bit as bad as the one imposed through COAs.

Many Health Care Take-Aways. Here are Some of Them:

Not all doctors are in the plan. If yours isn’t, your fees are double or higher.

They are restricting which doctors can certify disability for a medical leave.

Routine office visits in HMO plans and certain PPO plans: $25 co-pay.

Pediatric exams in such plans: $25 co-pay.

Premiums (so-called monthly contributions), co-pays, co-insurance, annual deductibles and annual out of pocket maximums can be raised 3% a year.

Prescription co-pays on mail order go up to $10, generic, and $15, brand name.

All prescription co-pays will go up 3% each year. But our wages don’t go up 3%.

All HMO plans and two PPO plans will now have a $100 charge if you go to an emergency room and you aren’t hospitalized.

Someone on disability leave who doesn’t go back to work when the plan arbitrator ignores their doctor’s recommendation will lose Unicare payments AND all medical coverage.


Stop this attack! Vote NO! Get this leaflet to  Ford workers in other plants!



More Information about the Ford Contract.doc

More Information about the Ford Contract.pdf

NOW UPDATED: Vote No until you Know the whole truth and we beat concessions!.doc

NOW UPDATED: Vote No until you Know the whole truth and we beat concessions!.pdf




Vote No until you Know the whole truth and we beat concessions!

November 8, 2007

Ford loves the contract. So do most UAW leaders. What’s wrong with it?

At the Nov. Local 600 General Council, a young member proposed that we get a week to read the contract, not just Highlights. His motion was not voted on. But he had the right idea.
The Ford contract re-packages problems with GM and Chrysler contracts. The big picture is the same.
Concessions don’t save jobs. Strong unions save jobs. Concessions weaken unions.
In this leaflet are contract page numbers for only some provisions cited. You need to look at the complete contract.
Ask your union rep for a copy.


The big picture

1. Half pay for new hires is divisive. The worker next to you can’t afford the cars you both work on.
Starting at $14.20/hr. is well below the US average for non-union industrial jobs ($19.62/hr., Union Advantage site, uaw.org/facts/07/unionadvantage_0607.pdf)
New hire health care benefits start late. They won’t get the pension or retiree health care we do--defined-contribution plans instead (contract pages 199-207A). Some insourced work, plants, and temporary workers are not included in the 20% cap on new hires. Ford can hire temporaries up to a year. If we sell out our children, who will defend our pensions and health care?

2. “VEBA health care funding at Caterpillar ran out in 6 years,” says retired UAW Caterpillar Local 751 president Larry Solomon. Ford’s liability is funded too low. And do you want any Ford stock funding your health care? Does VEBA protect us against bankruptcy? That’s when stocks go bust!

3. Job security? For 30 years we voted for “Job Security Contracts” …while we lost 2/3 of UAW membership! Ford ignores attrition replacement formulas including promises in the 2003 Highlights… they owe Tool & Die over 150 jobs. What pressure is on Ford to honor this “Job Security Contract” at the only Big 3 company to avoid a strike? “Market related” factors will delay or deny job security and attrition replacement (pages 79-80A). The Free Press says: “Ford deal spares factories. UAW Pleased: Company can reconsider, though.” Ford WILL “reconsider” AFTER the vote! Hundreds of Lansing GM temps and thousands of Chrysler workers were laid off soon after voting.

4. Wage freeze. Bonuses, not hourly raises, and more COLA diversion (24-25A) means not keeping up with inflation. Channel 7 says Ford workers are “trading lower pay for job security.” We can count on the lower purchasing power, not the job security.

Devil is in the details

Look up these topics in the complete contract.
♦ Rougher attendance policy (232-236C).
♦ HMO office visits $25, E.R. $100 unless admitted. (80-81C), prescription costs go up, and a percentage formula will raise member payment.
♦ Combining and eliminating trades (10-15B and 334-353C), crossing demarcation lines (67-69A).
♦ Outsource housekeeping (149C).
♦ “Protected status” replaces GEN. You may be given a “mandatory” non-traditional job…please read page 83A! In some conditions “NJSOESC may agree that placement in Protected Status at 85% pay rate is mandatory” (86A).
♦ Parties can combine, eliminate Rouge Units (6A).

UAW GM Local 909 president Al Benchich said No to his contract. Chrysler National Bargaining Chair Bill Parker said No to his contract. Former Truck Plant president Gary Walkowicz has said No to this contract. What will UAW-Ford leaders do?

Judy Wraight, T&D
Dave Dogonski, DSP
Murray Boyk, T&D
Mark Farris, Milan, retired
Ron Lare, T&D, ronlare@sbcglobal.net, 313-492-7657

To add your name, contact us. For actual contract language, get a full copy from your union rep or see selections at www.soldiersofsolidarity.com

Labor donated Nov. 2007


36% of GM workers voted “No”
45% of Chrysler workers voted “No”
Ford workers can vote it down

The “No” vote at Chrysler was the biggest ever “No” vote against any contract that was ratified at the Big 3.

And since then, many Chrysler workers who voted “Yes” have been quoted as saying that they would have voted “No” if they knew about the layoffs that were kept secret until after the contract was ratified.

They want to sell us a contract based on false promises of “job security”. They want us to forget that this contract has concessions that will lead to a devastating drop in the standard of living for current autoworkers, future autoworkers, retirees, and workers across the country.

Why would we vote for something that will ruin our future?

Ford workers can make their own decision about this contract. Nothing says we have to follow a “pattern agreement”. Two years ago, Ford workers nearly voted it down when the contract was re-opened. Because of the strong “No” vote at Ford, Chrysler workers kept their 3% raise in 2006. They didn’t follow the “pattern” then.

If Ford workers vote down this contract, it can re-open the door for Chrysler and GM workers to make a fight. Their contracts were passed by false promises and misleading statements. There is no reason for anyone to respect a contract obtained by underhanded means.

For sure, it will take a fight by many workers to stop concessions. There is no reason why we at Ford can’t stand up and start that fight by voting “No!”

(signed) Dearborn Truck Plant workers and Ford retirees

Gary Walkowicz, Melvin Lofton, Alton Hill,
Glenn Foley, Kevin London
Lynn Blosser, Angelo Alexander, Sherry Poole,
Orrin Ivory, Gerald Bailey
Barbara Smith-Wilson, Ricardo Cervera,
Charles Peters, Sarah A.McLean,
Debbie Hass, Jacci Gaines, Dave Olson,
Rick Fletke, Joyce Hill
Ken Gadsby, Robert Cunningham, Lonnie Spight,
Charles Harvey
David Champagne, Ron Pruett, Vern Hall,
R.D. Lee, Tony Cecil
Donny Pruitt, Michele Harris, Susan Simpson,
Eugena Jones
James Coleman, Lawrence B. Bonner, Jr.,
Connie Pruitt, Eddie Thomas
Shevonne Wilson, Shontelle V. Paul, Lois McLawhorn,
Curtis Hunter
David Gelman, Thomas Abraham, Leonard Sledge,
Johnnie Williams
Rita Jones, Curtis Booth, Jac Kubitz,
Colleen McParland, Rhonda Hill
Stella Morgan, Edward Carter, Audrey Cotton

Why we are voting “No”. See the other side. (below)

If you want to see the main pages of the actual Ford contract go to the website at www.soldiersofsolidarity.com

November 11, 2007

Ford can vote it down.doc

Ford can vote it down.pdf
We are voting NO on the contract because
November 11, 2007

New hires will make half our wages with reduced medical coverage and no real pension.
- This contract condemns our children and grandchildren to have a worse life than we do, even if they never work in auto. What happens in auto sets the standard.
- This contract destroys solidarity. If we don’t vote to protect new hires today, the companies will try to bring down all our wages in the next contract. And who will protect our pensions?

Ford says only 20% of the workforce will be low-wage. NOT TRUE!
- It will be 20% PLUS all new workers at Rawsonville and Sterling Axle, PLUS “long-term supplemental employees, PLUS temporary part time employees; PLUS outsourced work that is brought back in. The total number will be way more than 20%.

Skilled trades jobs will disappear.
1. 209 trades will be reduced to 22, and 23 more will “not repopulate.”
2. Basic machine repair pushed onto production workers.
3. “National Trades Governance Team” to override local agreements, practices.

Retirees will lose guaranteed medical coverage and pay more for it.
- The VEBA retiree medical fund was given only 57% of what it needs.
- The VEBA is NOT protected against bankruptcy. More than half is in Ford stock or notes, or promises to pay over the next 15 years.
- The VEBA’s directors can decide to increase charges and reduce benefits.

Active and retired workers will pay more for medical right now.
- We will pay more for office visits, prescriptions, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.

Our wage rates are frozen for 4 more years on top of last year.
- The only money we get are bonuses, which give us much less than pay raises.

Another $1.50 per hour will be stolen from our COLA.
While prices keep going up, we will fall behind.

Many more jobs will be lost.
- There is no job security in this contract. We were given the same false promises of “job security” as were the GM and Chrysler workers. Every promise of job security includes the language “based on market-related conditions”.

Ford cries broke, but they have the highest paid auto executives.

Stop this attack! Vote NO! Get this leaflet to Ford workers in other plants!



November 12, 2007 - UAW Local 1250, Cleveland, Ohio - Coalition of retirees and rank & file members.

STOP THE PENSION GRAB !
PRESERVE FULL PAY & JOBS !

VOTE NO on the contract because:

Retirees will lose guaranteed medical coverage and pay more for it.
- The VEBA retiree medical fund was given only 50% of what it needs.
The VEBA is NOT protected against bankruptcy. More than half is in Ford stock
or notes, or promises to pay over the next 15 years.
- The VEBA’s directors can decide to increase charges and reduce benefits.

New hires will make half our wages with reduced medical coverage and no real pension.
- This contract condemns our children and grandchildren to have a worse life than we do, even if
they never work in auto. What happens in auto sets the standard.
- This contract destroys solidarity. If we don’t vote to protect new hires today, the companies will
try to bring down all our wages in the next contract. And who will protect our pensions?

Ford says only 20% of the workforce will be low-wage. NOT TRUE!
- It will be 20% PLUS long-term supplemental employees, PLUS temporary part-time employees,
PLUS outsourced work that is brought back in. The total number will be far more than 20%.

More Skilled Trades jobs will disappear.
- "National Skilled Trades Governance Team" can veto local agreements and practices.
- 209 trades will be reduced to 22, and 23. More will "not repopulate."
- Basic machine repair pushed onto production workers.

Active and retired workers will pay more for medical right now.
- We will pay more for office visits, prescriptions, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.

Our wage rates are frozen for 4 more years.
- The only money we get are bonuses, which give us much less than pay raises.

Another $1.40 per hour will be diverted and lost from our COLA.
While prices keep going up, we will fall further behind.

Many more jobs will be lost.
- There is no job security in this contract. We were given the same false promises of "job security"
as were the GM and Chrysler workers. Every promise of job security includes the language "based
on market-related conditions".

Ford Motor Company cries poor mouth,
but they have the highest paid auto executives in the world.

Stop this attack on our pensions and wages!

VOTE NO ON THIS PENSION-WAGE RIP-OFF

Issued by Committee To Preserve Our Contracts

Labor Donated


November 14, 2007 - St Paul, Minnesota

A rank and file group from Ford UAW Local 879 distributed the following leaflet in the Plant last Thursday and Friday:

Why we should
VOTE NO!
on the new contract

Ford cries broke, but they have the highest paid executives. While we are being asked to tighten our belts because of their mistakes, they're still getting fat off our labor. While Ford was taking record losses last year, the top seven executives brought in well over $63 million in compensation. Before Ford makes any cuts to rank-and-file living standards or keeps full-time workers at TPT wages, they should first drastically cut executive pay and open their books for everyone to see.

Ford cries broke, but invests billions in new plants all over the world. Ford publicly announced in 2006 a 6-year project to invest $9.2 billion in Mexico and invested billions more to expand production in Romania, Thailand Brazil, etc. All these investments overseas came from profits made by our labor – but now they say we have to take historic concessions to save the company and save our jobs.

New hires will make $14 an hour with reduced benefits.
This contract condemns our children and grandchildren to have a worse life than we do, even if they never work in auto. What happens in auto sets the standard elsewhere. The rest of Corporate America will use these concessions to demand that their workers take pay cuts, while they laugh all the way to the bank.

Still no healthcare for Temporary Part-Timers
While the contract will keep the Ranger plant open until September 30, 2009, most of us will have to continue as temporary part-timers – with no health benefits and at lower wages, even though we do full-time work.

Retirees will lose guaranteed medical coverage and pay more for it. The VEBA retiree medical fund was given only 57% of what it needs and is NOT protected against bankruptcy. More than half is in Ford stock or notes, or promises to pay over the next 15 years. The VEBA's directors can decide to increase charges and reduce benefits.

Many more jobs will be lost.
Every promise of job security includes the language "based on market-related conditions," and Ford can still eliminate shifts and "temporarily" idle plants whenever it wants. Chrysler announced 12,000 job cuts a week after signing the contract. The contract says that TPTers and full-timers with seniority will get preferential hiring at jobs at other Ford plants – but where are we going to work if they're cutting thousands more jobs?

WE DON'T HAVE TO ACCEPT THIS!
The UAW has a tradition of fighting heroically to make gains for its members (see pg 12 of local 879's "Autoworker," Oct/Nov 2007 <http://www.uaw879.org/documents/auto8-9-07.pdf >). Why has the UAW not done a thing to stand up to Ford and protect the gains made in the past? Why is the union making these historic concessions without even putting up a fight?

By voting no, we can send a message to Ford and the UAW leadership that we won't accept these concessions and that we reject this race-to-the-bottom! We can send a clear message that we want a fighting union that cares more about its members' bottom line than the Ford's.

In the face of the industry-wide crisis, the only way we can hold back wave after wave of attacks is to mount an all-out drive to unionize the un-organized, lower paid autoworkers, both in the U.S. and internationally.

However, our current leadership has shown no willingness to do this. In fact, their refusal to stand up for their own members jobs, wages, and benefits makes the union an un-attractive option to disgruntled workers at Toyota, Honda, or other non-union companies. Why pay union dues, struggle, sacrifice, and risk your job to form a union, if the leaders are going to turn around negotiate wage cuts and layoffs for you? We need to build a rank and file opposition movement to take our union back and rebuild the fighting traditions which birthed the United Auto Workers.

VOTE NO to layoffs!
VOTE NO to VEBA and attacks on our retirement benefits!
VOTE NO to two and three tiered wage schemes!
VOTE for full-time pay and benefits for all full-time workers! VOTE for full healthcare benefits for everyone! VOTE for workers needs before corporate greed!

Leaflet produced by the 879 Votes No Campaign
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"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
--Martin Luther King