Ford workers narrowly approved a new four-year contract, wrapping up five months of negotiations between the United Auto Workers union and Detroit automakers.
The UAW said late Friday that Ford’s contract passed with a 51.4 percent vote. The agreement covers 53,000 U.S. hourly workers at 22 plants, including one in Claycomo.
“UAW-Ford members have delivered job security and strong economic gains for their families and communities,” said UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles, the union’s top Ford negotiator, in a statement.
UAW workers at Claycomo rejected the agreement, according to UAW Local 249’s Facebook page. About 54 percent of the production workers at the plant voted against the national contract on Nov. 15. Meanwhile, the skilled trades approved the national contract by two votes.
In contrast, Claycomo workers approved the local talks about plant-specific issues by 71 percent among production workers and 66 percent among the skilled trades.
Their plant produces F-150 pickup trucks and Transit vans. About 7,500 people work at the plant.
Union leaders held a press conference last week to push for the Ford agreement when they feared workers would reject it. Some workers said the union didn’t push hard enough to win back things they lost in previous agreements, including annual wage increases. They also wanted a two-tier wage system to be eliminated immediately instead of over eight years, as the contract promises.
But union leaders warned that they might not get a better deal from Ford if workers rejected the agreement and sent them back to the bargaining table.
The contract raises wages for all workers and gradually eliminates the two-tier system, which pays newer workers less than veteran ones. It promises bonuses of up to $10,250 per worker this year and annual profit-sharing checks and other bonuses each year after that.
The contract also guarantees $9 billion in investments at Ford’s U.S. plants over four years.
“This agreement provides a good foundation for Ford Motor Company, our employees and our communities as we work together to create an even stronger business in the years ahead,” Ford’s labor chief, John Fleming, said in a statement.
Ford was the last of the Detroit automakers to win approval for its contract. Fiat Chrysler workers approved their contract in October. General Motors’ contract was approved earlier Friday after extended negotiations with skilled-trades workers like electricians, who had initially rejected it.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.