UAW-represented workers at Ford Motor Co. overwhelmingly authorized union leadership to strike the automaker should they not reach a new contract agreement, according to a statement today.
The authorization passed with the support of 98.3 percent of voting Ford UAW-represented workers. The move is largely procedural during pending contract negotiations.
“I am pleased with both the high margin of support and high turnout as nearly 80% of our membership to part in the voting process,” Ford-UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing our negotiations with Ford Motor Company and I thank our membership for their input and for standing in solidarity with us.”
The Ford workers’ vote comes after workers at General Motors and Fiat Chrysler authorized UAW leaders the ability to strike if necessary with 97-percent support. The UAW’s labor contract with the Detroit 3 ends at midnight on Monday.
Among other goals in negotiations, union leadership is looking to close the wage gap between veteran and entry-level workers. The union and the carmakers also are discussing new ways to get more cost-effective health care coverage for working union members, according to several media reports.
The union could strike all three major U.S. automakers for the first time since 2007. The UAW agreed to avoid striking GM and Chrysler in 2011 as a condition of the automakers’ government-supervised bankruptcy restructurings.