Key elements of the 1967 Ford-UAW contract
More than $1 an hour more in wages and benefits over 3 years
Layoff benefits up to 95% of pay for a year
A cap on cost-of-living adjustments
No wage parity for Canadian workers
UAW won protection from layoff after grueling 68-day strike in '67
It took a 68-day strike and the loss of 500,000 vehicles, but Ford Motor Co. and the UAW made labor history in 1967 when they agreed to a contract that paid high-seniority hourly workers nearly all of their weekly pay during a layoff.
The company's guaranteed annual income plan, later copied by Chrysler Corp. and General Motors, granted workers with at least seven years seniority 95 percent of their pay for a full year.
The plan provided job security for workers and forced the auto companies to take a long-term view of production planning.
The 1967 strike was the longest national strike against Ford, and the third longest for the auto industry until that time.
Negotiations remained at a standstill more than five weeks after the strike began on Sept. 6 as Ford and the union butted heads. But Ford eventually budged, and on Oct. 22 it reached a three-year agreement with the union. Pact highlights included: Hourly wage increases over three years ranging from 39.5 cents to 54.5 cents for unskilled workers and up to 84.5 cents for skilled workers. A new cost-of-living formula providing a minimum increase of 6 cents an hour over the life of the contract. Unemployment benefits of 95 percent of pay, less certain work-related expenses, for a full year for workers on the job seven years or more; 75 percent of pay for workers with four to six years seniority; 50 percent of pay for those on the job two to three years; and 25 percent of pay for one- to two-year employees. An increase in monthly pension benefits to $5.25 for each year of service, vs. $4.25 under the old contract. After Jan. 29, 1969, monthly benefits jumped to $5.50, $5.75 or $6 for each year of service, depending on the employee's job rank. A raise in the maximum life insurance benefit to $13,000, from $11,500.
The union made two big compromises: It settled for cost-of-living adjustments that were capped at 8 cents an hour and paid annually instead of quarterly. And the UAW relinquished its demand for wage parity for Canadian workers.