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Ford may add 10,000 jobs

autos Updated: Sep 29, 2011 23:38 IST
Keith Naughton

Ford is discussing adding as many as 10,000 jobs in the United States in negotiations with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union on a new four-year contract, according to three people familiar with the talks.

The job-creation discussion is part of high-level negotiations between Ford and UAW president Bob King over wages, benefits, and employment gains in the new contract and is still subject to change, said the people, who asked not to be identified revealing internal deliberations. As many as 4,000 of those jobs may come from Ford shifting production of the Fusion midsize sedan to the US from Mexico, one of the people said.

The UAW may reach an agreement this week on a contract covering Ford's 41,000 workers, Joel Goddard, co-chairman of the union's bargaining committee said. Ford, which earned $5 billion in the first half of the year, is seeking to lower labor costs in the new contract. New hires are paid about half as much as senior workers.

"Jobs have been a central goal of the union in this round of negotiations," said Harley Shaiken, a labour professor at the University of California at Berkeley. "Ford, which is the most advanced in its recovery, is a natural for this kind of job creation."

General Motors agreed to add or retain 6,400 jobs in a tentative agreement it reached with the UAW on September 16. GM's 48,500 hourly workers ratified that contract with 65% of production workers and 63% of skilled-trades workers voting for it.

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