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.


Oil prices ‘likely to remain static despite output cuts’

Updated 01 October 2020

Oil prices ‘likely to remain static despite output cuts’

  • Survey points to uneven recovery with demand under threat from rising coronavirus cases

BENGALURU: Oil prices will stay near current levels this year as rising novel coronavirus cases threaten to slow the pace of demand recovery and counter output curbs by top producers, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.

The survey of 40 analysts and economists forecast benchmark Brent crude averaging $42.48 a barrel in 2020. That compares with an average of $42.54 this year and last month’s forecast of $42.75. Brent is projected to average $50.41 in 2021.

The 2020 US crude price outlook was at $38.70 per barrel versus $38.82 predicted in August. It has averaged $38.20 this year.

“As long as there is no working vaccine available, the main risk for oil prices is lower-than-expected demand,” Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro said.

Global demand was seen contracting by 8 million-9.8 million bpd (barrels per day) this year, slightly less bleak than the 8 million-10 million bpd consensus last month.

“Demand recovery should still continue in our view, although at a slower pace with the easiest demand gains behind us,” said UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo.

The recovery “will remain uneven”, he added.

Brent prices are on track for their first monthly decline in six as rising coronavirus infections across many regions, including Europe and the US brought new restrictions, while global cases surpassed 33 million.

The International Energy Agency this month cut its 2020 demand forecast by 200,000 bpd to 91.7 million bpd.

But production cuts led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies will offer some support to prices, analysts said, with the group curbing output by 7.7 million bpd.

“We suspect compliance with the OPEC+ deal will remain patchy but doubt that this will prevent the group from extending or even deepening its output cuts later this year,” Capital Economics analyst Caroline Bain said.