July 30, 2014

Elyria
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Union begins contract review

AVON LAKE — Officials from United Auto Workers and Ford Motor Co. will get the ball rolling today to solidify a tentative deal that would ensure the Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake will not be among various Ford plants slated for closing, according to media in Detroit and a local union official.

The Detroit News, quoting unnamed sources, reported this weekend that the UAW and Ford are poised to approve a contract that could save various Ford plants from closure — specifically the Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, and two other plants in Michigan and Illinois — while also allowing the struggling automaker to offer lower wages to some new hires and shift retiree health care liabilities from the company to a union-run trust fund.

On Sunday, an official with the UAW Local 2000, who asked not to be named, said that the timeline for the agreement and how it applies locally will play out as follows:

  • Today at 1 p.m., the UAW National Ford Council, which includes chairmen of various UAW branches, will meet with Ford officials in Michigan to reach an agreement.
  • The UAW officials will return to their respective regions and present the contract to regional officials. Region 2B, which includes the UAW Local 2000, will meet in Lima on Tuesday.
  • After Tuesday, the contract will be brought back to UAW Local 2000 officials to digest and eventually voted upon by members. 

 

About 2,050 employees are represented by the UAW Local 2000.

“City, county and state officials should be very pleased at the bright future of the Ohio Assembly Plant,” UAW Local 2000 Chairman Nick Gallogly said after the deal was announced Saturday.

Ford had announced its intent to shut down 16 North American factories as part of a restructuring.

Among the closures are three in Ohio — a transmission plant in Batavia near Cincinnati, a stamping plant in Maumee near Toledo that closed last month, and a casting plant in Brook Park.

As part of the new agreement, Ford likely will offer additional buyouts to veteran workers in hopes of replacing them with newer workers under the new agreement, Detroit media reported.

The Associated Press and Chronicle reporter Lisa Roberson contributed to this report.

Contact Shawn Foucher at 653-6255 or sfoucher@chroniclet.com.