Autoworkers on strike but not at Sharonville Ford plant

Deal not reached between UAW and automakers, strikes start
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 11:09 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2023 at 5:33 AM EDT
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SHARONVILLE, Ohio (WXIX) - A historic autoworkers strike is now underway after the United Auto Workers union and the three big automakers failed to reach a deal on benefits and wages.

This is the first time in history that workers at all three big automakers - Ford, GM and Stellantis - have gone on strike at the same time.

Thousands of autoworkers have walked off the job at auto manufacturing plants across the country including UAW unions in Toledo.

The Ford Sharonville plant, however, is not among those striking Friday.

That’s because it makes transmissions for one of the most popular vehicles in America, the Ford F-250 pickup truck.

“The UAW has announced that they will be doing strategic strikes, but right now Ford company in Sharonville, the UAW, has not been notified that we will be striking,” said Tod Turner, President of the UAW Union Local 863.

While these workers are still clocking in Friday morning, they could go on strike at a later date because they are working without a contract, Turner said.

Both sides have been exchanging offers and negotiating for long hours over wages and benefits.

On Tuesday night, Ford CEO Jim Farley said the company submitted a new offer to the union that was “our most generous offer in 80 years of the UAW and Ford.”

The offer would have given pay increases, eliminated different wage tiers, protected against inflation, and would have made bigger contributions to retirement plans.

However, on Thursday night the two sides were unable to come to an agreement on a new contract.

“We’re trying to fight for that so when people retire they can retire with dignity - that they can leave knowing that they have healthcare when they’re in retirement age so they can get their prescription pills or go to the doctor,” Turner said. “We don’t believe anybody should be left without that especially when you’re working for a company like Ford Motor Company that makes billions of dollars.”

Turner says UAW LOCAL 863 is prepared to join in on the strike if called upon, but he still remains hopeful an agreement will be reached and a new contract will be signed.

“We’ve helped the company out. All we’re looking at is for them to give us our fair share when times are going good for them. For years they’ve been going good off the back of UAW workers and we want them to acknowledge that and reward us,” he said.

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