UAW tentative deal with Ford could be in jeopardy

The UAW's tentative labor deal with Ford is in jeopardy tonight.

The UAW's tentative labor deal with Ford is in jeopardy. As of 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, a little more than half of the UAW workers have voted to reject the deal. However, there are still a lot of votes yet to be cast.

All it takes to reject the deal is a majority of votes so union leadership is trying whatever they can to get the members yet to vote to support the deal and even held a news conference to get their message across.

The mission inside the local 600 union hall is clear; turn a tentative deal for UAW Ford employees into a signed one, because going back to the drawing board means nothing is guaranteed. The current deal includes a three percent raise, an $8,500 signing bonus and billions in company investment.

"If we thought there was another buck on the table we would have got it the first time," Local 600 President Bernie Ricke said.

Union leadership say it's been hard to get the message across - particularly to younger members - and they say social media isn't doing them any favors.

"Make misnomers to start havoc by not telling the truth and it's difficult to track all that and that's a problem," UAW VP Jimmy Settles said.

Bob Stover has more than 20 years on the job and he supports the current deal because it offers security.

"There is a lot of negative info being put out there people don't fully understand," Stover said. "We can negotiate 50 an hour but if we don't have jobs for people, that's an issue."

The negotation team is trying convince union members to think long term and that a $9 billion investment into Ford plants is job security. There are some in the local that say they've already given so much to Ford in concessions during the past decade and, now that the automaker is successful, it's time they reap some the benefits they feel they are owed.

"Now, the auto company is making record profits, this contract here not only does not restore what we lost in the last decade, it doesn't bring it back to the level we were at 10 or 12 years ago," UAW Member Gary Walkowicz said.

Voting is expected to be done and counted by Saturday morning. Is a strike possible? We'll just have to wait and see.

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