TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Competitive contracts with the United Auto Workers union are helping Ford Motor Co. bring nearly 2,000 jobs back into its factories that would have gone to parts suppliers — some in other countries, the company said yesterday.
The Dearborn, Mich., automaker said the 2007 union contract allows it to hire workers at $14 per hour, half the rate of current workers. Factory-level contracts also have changed work rules to make the plants more efficient.
Ford said it has brought 1,340 jobs into 24 of its plants, assembling parts that otherwise would have been made by outside firms. It plans to bring in another 635 jobs by 2012 for a total of 1,975.
The UAW has worked with Ford “closely on a more competitive agreement that helped us create the business case for moving more work back to Ford facilities, and back to America,” Ford Americas President Mark Fields said.
Ford could not say how many jobs came into its plants from outside the United States, but it said hybrid transmission components and transmission gear machining were brought in from Japan, battery pack assembly will come from Mexico, and steel forging will come from India.
By bringing the work into its plants, Ford can ensure its standards are followed.
Many jobs will go to sites in Chicago; Sharonville, Ohio; and Wayne, Ypsilanti Township, and Sterling Heights, Mich..
So far, Ford has recalled laid-off workers to fill the jobs and has not been able to hire at the $14 rate. Even at the higher wage of older workers, bringing the work back into the plants makes sense, spokesman Marcey Evans said.
“It's all based on the long-term business case,” she said.