United Auto Workers approve new 4-year contract with Ford

The contract will cost Ford $700 million in the fourth quarter, mainly to pay ratification bonuses to its 55,000 hourly workers. (AFP)
Updated 16 November 2019

United Auto Workers approve new 4-year contract with Ford

  • Union: 56.3 percent of workers who voted were in favor of the deal
  • The contract will cost Ford $700 million in the fourth quarter

DETROIT: Members of the United Auto Workers union at Ford Motor Co. voted Friday to approve a new contract with the company.
The union said in a statement that 56.3 percent of workers who voted were in favor of the deal.
The four-year agreement reached Oct. 31 gives workers a mix of pay raises and lump-sum payments as well as a $9,000 ratification bonus. The company also promises $6 billion in US factory investments. Ford gets to close an engine factory near Detroit but its 600 workers there will get jobs at a nearby plant.
Acting Union President Rory Gamble called the agreement “life changing” for workers and said it eliminates perpetual temporary employees and different wage tiers for workers doing the same jobs. Ford said the deal increases its competitiveness, keeping its cost structure similar to its US-based competitors. It also secures 8,500 US hourly jobs.
The contract will cost Ford $700 million in the fourth quarter, mainly to pay ratification bonuses to its 55,000 hourly workers.
Union spokesman Brian Rothenberg said Friday night he did not have vote totals.
The deal is similar to one ratified by General Motors workers after a bitter 40-day strike this fall.
On Monday, the union will focus bargaining on Fiat Chrysler, the last of the Detroit Three automakers to settle.


WEEKLY ENERGY RECAP: Keeping things in balance

Updated 08 December 2019

WEEKLY ENERGY RECAP: Keeping things in balance

  • The over-compliance will result in cuts of 1.7 million bpd

Brent crude rose above $64 per barrel after OPEC+ producers unanimously agreed to deepen output cuts by 503,000 barrels per day (bpd) to a total 1.7 million bpd till the end of the first quarter of 2020.

The breakdown is that OPEC producers are due to cut 372,000 bpd and non-OPEC producers to cut 131,000 bpd.

Current market dynamics led to this decision as oil price-positive news outweighed more bearish developments in the US-China trade narrative that has weighed on oil prices throughout the year, with US crude exports rising to a record 3.4 million bpd in October versus 3.1 million bpd in September.

OPEC November crude oil output levels at 29.8 million bpd show that producers were already overcomplying with its current 1.2 million bpd output cuts deal by around 400,000 bpd. 

The over-compliance will result in cuts of 1.7 million bpd, especially when Saudi Arabia continues to voluntarily cut more than its share.

This makes the agreed 1.7 million bpd output cuts pragmatic since it won’t taken any barrels out of the market.

It isn’t a matter of OPEC making room in the market for other additional supplies from non-OPEC sources, as OPEC barrels can’t be easily replaced.

Instead, this is about avoiding any oversupply that might damage the global supply-demand balance.

Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman has effectively kept his promise and managed to smoothly forge a consensus among OPEC and non-OPEC producers.

He has also successfully managed the 24-country coalition of OPEC+ including Russia in reaching an agreement.

Despite suggestions otherwise in recent coverage of the Vienna meeting, the deeper cuts announced on Friday have nothing to do with the Aramco IPO. Let’s remember this meeting was scheduled six months ago and the IPO has been in the works for much longer.

The Aramco share sale did not target a specific oil price. If that was a motivating factor it could easily have chosen another time.