The voices thought to be a minority among the UAW membership may be getting louder if the “No” votes at Ford’s massive Louisville and Kentucky truck plants over the weekend is any indication. The results are also highlighting a divide between production workers and skilled trades.
The ongoing voting by UAW members at the Detroit Three automakers took an interesting turn over the weekend as two large Ford plants in Kentucky shot the tentative deal down, and in the process, highlighting a divide among the workers.
The Louisville Assembly and Kentucky Truck plans employ about 12,000 workers. Workers will continue voting on the deal this week. It needs a majority of the company’s more than 57,000 union workers to be passed.
According to UAW Local 862 in Louisville, 55% of production workers voted no while 69% of skilled trades workers voted in favor of the new deal. At the other sites that voted against the tentative agreement, there was a similar split between the production line workers and skilled trades.
The document only showed the two sets of votes, it didn’t offer the results of the total vote and whether or not the deal passed. However, the plants typically have significantly more production workers than skilled trades so it is unlikely to overall vote came down in favor of the deal.
GM plants voting against
The two big Ford plants are the only ones coming in against the deal. Last week, GM’s two facilities in Flint also voted it down, joining two other GM plants that voted no.
UAW Local 598 voted the deal down by a narrow margin: 51.8 against. The site’s skilled trades workers voted in favor of the deal by nearly a two-thirds vote, but nearly 53% of the much larger group of hourly production workers, which includes temps and workers on tiered pay scales, voted no. More than 3,400 workers voted.
The result follows the lead of GM’s Flint engine plant, Local 659, which voted the deal down earlier this week with 52% against the deal. Local 163, which represents workers at Romulus (MI) Propulsion Systems showed that 51% of members voted no on Tuesday.
In the case of the other GM plants, production workers voted against while the skilled trades were in favor of the new deal.
A scan of the union local’s social media reveals concerns not about the pay raise, but mandatory overtime, a delay in the implementation of the lauded cost-of-living adjustments, the phase-in period for ending wage tiers and more.