The United Auto Workers (UAW) is issuing a warning of a potential labor strike at Ford Motor's largest U.S. facility if unresolved local union demands persist beyond the upcoming week. The Detroit union announced on Friday that nearly 9,000 UAW autoworkers at Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant could initiate a strike at 12:01 a.m. on Feb. 23 should outstanding local contract issues persist. This particular plant, recognized as Ford's largest in terms of both employment and revenue, is responsible for manufacturing Ford Super Duty pickups, Ford Expeditions, and Lincoln Navigator SUVs.

Unlike the national agreements ratified with Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis (Chrysler's parent company) in late 2023, local contracts address plant-specific concerns and often remain unresolved for extended periods following the national deals. The union emphasized that the primary issues in the local negotiations at the Kentucky Truck Plant revolve around health and safety, including minimum in-plant nurse staffing levels, ergonomic matters, and Ford's ongoing efforts to diminish skilled trades at the facility.

While there are 19 other open local agreements across Ford, along with several at GM and Stellantis, it remains unclear why the union singled out the Ford plant for the strike deadline. In response, Ford, known for its positive relationship with the UAW, stated in an email that negotiations are ongoing, expressing anticipation for reaching an agreement with UAW Local 862 at the Kentucky Truck Plant.

The strike deadline announcement comes shortly after UAW President Shawn Fain criticized Ford CEO Jim Farley for comments suggesting careful consideration of future vehicle production locations in light of evolving market conditions and contentious negotiations in the previous year, which included six weeks of targeted strikes. Farley specifically referenced the UAW's October strike against the Kentucky Truck Plant as a pivotal moment in the company's changing relationship with the union, indicating a shift in their dynamics. Fain responded by urging Ford to prioritize American workers and consider a CEO committed to the future of the country's auto industry instead of seeking the cheapest labor globally.

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HITTING FORD WHERE IT HURTS? UAW's Ultimatum: Potential Kentucky Truck Strike Over Local Demands, Igniting Controversy in Tense Labor Relations Showdown

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