Ford, GM may use offshoring as leverage in UAW talks – Kansas City Business Journal (blog)
“The Envision should be made in the U.S. by the workforce that saved GM in its darkest time,” Estrada said in a statement sent to the media.
The discussion at Ford is a bit different. Ford is moving production of the Focus and C-Max out of Wayne, Mich., by 2018 to somewhere outside the U.S., probably Mexico, according to various news reports. But Ford spokeswoman Kristina Adamski told the media that Ford isn’t giving up on the Wayne Assembly Plant and is looking for new vehicles to produce there. Still, it sends a clear message that Ford is willing to move production outside the U.S. to find savings. Ford also can find savings by maintaining the tiered-pay plan, and the automaker’s desire is to stay profitable in the long haul and avoid ending up in a situation that led to GM and Chrysler declaring bankruptcy.
The average veteran UAW worker makes about $28 an hour, and the newer, Tier Two employees earn about $15.78. The savings are even greater overseas, where Chinese autoworkers earn an average of $4.10 an hour and Mexican workers about $8.24. However, overseas production leads to increased shipping costs and potential quality-control issues. So it’s not just a slam dunk for automakers to go this route.
With the expiration date on the current contract only three weeks away, the automakers and the UAW are going to have to find some middle ground quickly.