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Thursday, 18 March 2021

United Auto Workers union criticizes Ford over company's plan to build new vehicle in Mexico instead of Ohio - putting 1,600 jobs at risk

 The United Auto Workers union has criticized Ford Motor Co's plan to build a new vehicle in Mexico rather than at an Ohio plant, suggesting it might be in violation of the automaker's contractual commitments.

In a letter made public on Tuesday, UAW Vice President Gerald Kariem said Ford intends to build a next-generation vehicle in Mexico.

'We 100% reject the company's decision to put corporate greed and more potential profits over American jobs and the future of our members. We expect the company to honor its contractual commitments to this membership and when it fails to do so we will take action,' Kariem wrote in the letter.


'We are intensely exploring our options at this time,' he added.

United Auto Workers is promising to act on behalf of Ford employees if jobs promised for the Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake are sent to Mexico

United Auto Workers is promising to act on behalf of Ford employees if jobs promised for the Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake are sent to Mexico

In 2015, then candidate for president Donald Trump announced a major victory in claiming that because of his persistent criticism on the campaign trail, Ford Motor Company had halted plans to construct a $2.5 billion factory in Mexico and would instead set up shop in Ohio.

Trump took credit for the decision and bragged that his rivals would not have been able to do the same. 

But Ford still went ahead with building a massive facility in Mexico and nothing Trump tweeted at the time changed the company's plans.

The UAW said Ford in 2019 as part of its four-year contract agreement had committed $900 million for the plant in Avon Lake, Ohio, including a next-generation product to be added in 2023, which the UAW letter said would secure the plant's 'employment well into the foreseeable future.' 

During his presidential campaign in 2015, Trump claimed to have convinced Ford to halt plans to construct a $2.5 billion factory in Mexico and set up shop in Ohio

During his presidential campaign in 2015, Trump claimed to have convinced Ford to halt plans to construct a $2.5 billion factory in Mexico and set up shop in Ohio

Trump calls out Ford for leaving the U.S. for Mexico in July 2015
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Ford issued a statement on Tuesday that did not directly address the union's criticism but said in a letter to employees on Monday that conditions had changed since 2019.

A company spokeswoman said Ford had invested more than $185 million since 2019 at its Ohio Assembly Plant, including plans to increase capacity to build additional Super Duty trucks. The plant has about 1,600 UAW-represented employees.

Ford said in November it was planning to build an additional electric vehicle at its plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico, where the Mustang Mach-E is produced.

Automotive News cited a person familiar with Ford's plans that the automaker had been considering building electric vehicles in Ohio and had instead decided to assemble them in Mexico. Ford declined to comment.

Sam Fiorani, a vice president at AutoForecast Solutions, said Ford planned to launch production of electric crossovers at the Mexico plant in June 2023 under both the Ford and Lincoln brands.

UAW President Rory Gamble said in a Detroit News essay last month that new subsidies and tax breaks for electric vehicles must come with 'a commitment to locate any new jobs that are part of this transition in the United States in exchange for any tax dollar investment.'

UAW said it gained commitments from Ford in 2019 for the plant, including an investment of $900 million and a next generation product to be added in 2023

UAW said it gained commitments from Ford in 2019 for the plant, including an investment of $900 million and a next generation product to be added in 2023

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