How the game is played: Ford pauses MI EV battery plant construction, UAW in freak-out mode

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

While a shamefully pandering POTATUS shambled alongside smirking Shawn Fain, United Auto Worker president, at a picket line in Michigan this morning, one of the D-3 protagonists in this workers’ melodrama was busy assessing ongoing business options and came to the conclusion one of them needed some reassessing.


Ford has been the focus of some slightly more positive press from the UAW in recent negotiations, after coming back to the table with what Fain called “good progress” late last week.

Some 5,500 United Auto Workers members at 38 sites on Friday joined what’s being called a Stand Up Strike, walking off the job at all parts distribution centers across the nation at General Motors and Stellantis.

The walkout came after UAW President Shawn Fain announced in the morning that the sites would be targeted as an expansion in the union’s one-week-old action against Detroit Three automakers.

…In his morning announcement, Fain said the union had made good progress with Ford Motor Co. this week, but GM and Stellantis “will need some pushing.”

This morning, analysts were thinking that Fain’s contract updates were basically a signal to GM and Stellantis, pointing to where they needed to be in relation to the progress made with Ford.

UAW President Shawn Fain’s most recent update on contract talks with Detroit Three automakers left out a number of original demands, prompting some experts to wonder whether the talks are starting to focus on what really needs to get done.

Fain laid out for union members Friday the most recent offer from Ford Motor Co. and the areas the union considers gains with the company, signaling to General Motors and Stellantis where they might be coming up short. For example, Fain said, Ford agreed to reinstate a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), which would be a big win. He said neither GM nor Stellantis had offered the same.

Three sources familiar with the negotiations told the Detroit Free Press on Monday that the expectation is Ford will likely reach a tentative agreement with the UAW before the other two automakers, who would then use the deal as a template for their contract offers.

Given his previous list of demands, Fain made no mention Friday of the status of the union’s requests for a 40% wage increase across the life of the contract, of establishing a 32-hour work week, or reinstating pensions and retiree health care benefits, all of which indicate to industry experts that those issues might be close to being settled with the automakers or they are possibly off the table for now.


I’m not sure if they’re “off the table” yet because the 40% pay hike sure got mentioned when Biden lurched around the line.

In spite of what passes for warm fuzzies in union contract negotiations, Ford upped the ante this morning. In a surprise move, the corporation announced it was “temporarily” halting construction on the new bazillion dollar EV battery plant it’s building in Michigan with – SURPRISE! – a Chinese company (background on that huge controversy here).

MI Governor Gretchen “Maleficent” Whitmer tried to soothe ruffled feathers as soon as the news broke – let’s just say she has a lot riding on both sides of the racehorse – but the parties were having none of it and plunged ahead on the course they’d chosen.

Ford Motor (F.N) said on Monday it has paused work on a $3.5 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Michigan, citing concerns about its ability to competitively operate the plant at a time when it remains locked in broader contract negotiations.

…Ford has repeatedly raised its offer to the union in contract talks without securing a deal, while the fate of battery plant workers has remained a key issue in negotiations with the Detroit Three.

“We are pausing work and limiting spending on construction on the Marshall project until we’re confident about our ability to competitively operate the plant,” Ford said on Monday, declining to say what specific reason triggered the decision but adding there were a number of considerations. “We haven’t made any final decision about the planned investment there.”

…Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said: “Ford has been clear that this is a pause, and we will continue to push for successful negotiations between the Big 3 and UAW so that Michiganders can get back to work doing what they do best.


Cooler heads be damned. QUELLE SURPRISE, the UAW went into public meltdown.

…United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain blasted Ford, saying the announcement was “a shameful, barely-veiled threat by Ford to cut jobs…. We are simply asking for a just transition to electric vehicles and Ford is instead doubling down on their race to the bottom.”

Sort of hilarious that the UAW would be ripping Ford to pieces for a “just transition” to EVs when the very architect of the union’s own eventual destruction was being sucked up to and slobbered over right there in line with them this very morning.

Yeah, Biden says you DESERVE your 40%. What a hoot.

The trick will be getting it while you can…condemned men get last meals, so 40% is good, right?

All those smiling folks in red shirts – SO thrilled to have POTATUS there “with” them – might as well have been chickens asking the boa constrictor to “pick me first!”


Joe Biden and Joe Biden alone is the one strangling them slowly – Ford didn’t choose this transition. It’s been forced on the entire industry by JOE BIDEN.

And there all those giddy red shirted strikers were – huggy buggy kissy kiss kiss with THEIR OWN doddering, slimy, reticulated destructor.


These people aren’t very bright.

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