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Ford workers in Louisville vote against national UAW deal

Workers represented by UAW Local 862 voted on a new contract at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville on November 12, 2023.
Jacob Munoz | LPM

Employees at two Louisville Ford plants rejected a contract offer Sunday. The deal, negotiated by the United Auto Workers union, affects about 57,000 Ford workers in the United States and needs a simple majority to pass.

UAW Local 862 represents around 12,000 hourly Ford employees: about 8,700 at the Kentucky Truck Plant and 3,200 at the Louisville Assembly Plant.

Almost half of those employees voted on the contract, according to results published by the UAW.

Production workers make up most of the plants’ union-represented employees, and 57.2% of those KTP workers who voted went against the deal. Just over half of those LAP employees rejected the contract.

More than two-thirds of skilled trades workers, a smaller group, voted in favor of the contract.

In total, 45.5% of KTP voters and 52.8% of LAP voters approved the deal.

The UAW has described various Ford contract changes as wins, such as the reintroduction of cost-of-living adjustments and the elimination of unequal wage tiers. But the deal didn’t meet other lofty goals, like reinstituting pensions for workers.

Jenn Thompson has worked at the Kentucky Truck Plant for eight years and voted against the contract. She said while she likes some of what’s in the new deal, she thinks more is needed, especially the return of post-retirement health care coverage.

“It's not the worst contract we've ever been given. There are a lot of gains made on it,” Thompson said. “I do hope that, on our next negotiations, that we go for a few more things and get even more stuff back.”

So far, more than 24,000 Ford workers across locals in the U.S. — over 40% of union-represented employees — have voted on the hourly contract, according to the UAW. As of Monday morning, about 65.3% of voters were in favor of the deal, which would last four-and-a-half years.

Thousands of other Ford workers are scheduled to vote on the contract through Nov. 17.