Will UAW work at Ford’s Tennessee, Kentucky plants?

Just days later stronghold cars Company announce It will build four huge new factories and employ nearly 11,000 electricity generation workers vehicles And the batteries are in it Tennessee And KentuckySpeculation is already starting to circulate as to whether the new facilities will be union Shops.

Given the company’s long history with the United Auto Workers, Ford, the union and critics alike weigh in on expectations.

Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Farley (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP) (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP via Getty Images) (JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images | Ford Media/Getty Images)

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The UAW leadership appears optimistic.

“It is true that high tide lifts all boats, and today’s announcement is a massive opportunity for working families in Kentucky and Tennessee to gain thousands of industry-leading jobs to our region,” UAW District 8 Director Mitchell Smith said in a statement. “We look forward to networking and connecting with the new workforce in Tennessee and Kentucky and being a partner in training and creating the gold standard for these future jobs in the electric vehicle sector.”

Ray Curry, UAW’s international president, issued a statement saying, “UAW looks forward to continuing our longstanding partnership with Ford as consumers transition to making electric vehicles the right way.” “We look forward to networking and helping develop this new workforce to build these world-class vehicles and battery components,” he added.

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UAW President Ray Carey, right, fists up with Ford President and CEO Jim Farley. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) (AP newsroom)

Ford and SK Innovation, and Auto industry“We respect UAW’s efforts to organize future hourly workers at new facilities coming to Tennessee and Kentucky,” said South Korea’s partner in the three prospective battery plants, in comments earlier this week, as Ford has consistently expressed its expectation of a “strong and mutually beneficial relationship.” with the union.

Ford has an agreement with the UAW that the company will remain neutral when the union tries to organize workers in the new plants, and allows a “card check” recruitment system for the union. A shop becomes a union if the majority of workers sign cards saying they want to join.

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Tennessee and Kentucky both have “right to work” laws that prohibit companies from making union deals that force workers to pay dues, but that doesn’t mean stores can’t be unionized — and as friendly stores seem like Ford and UAW, there’s a good chance that they will. The new factories are UAW stores, according to the National Right to Work Foundation.

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An UAW assembly worker works on a 2018 Ford F-150 truck being assembled at the Ford Rouge assembly plant in Dearborn, Michigan (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File) (AFP)

“Unfortunately, there is a long history of collusive deals, including secret promises to sell workers at the bargaining table, made by union bosses seeking the company’s assistance in Pushing workers into unions. “Ford and UAW officials must publicly confirm that behind-the-scenes regulatory agreements have not been or will be made, and that they will not seek to bypass the protections of NLRB-supervised secret ballot in any union payment at these facilities.”

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Meeks noted that there are no guarantees that new stores will join unions, adding, “Workers at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee in recent years have twice rejected the UAW agreement, with widespread corruption and embezzlement among senior UAW officials almost certainly contributing to skepticism. workers union affiliation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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