Chicago Ford plant workers reject contract offer

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Workers at the Ford Assembly Plant have overwhelmingly voted against a contract endorsed by the United Auto Workers leadership.

Nearly 68 percent of the more than 3,000 workers who cast ballots voted against the contract, according to a Facebook post by UAW Local 551, which represents workers at the Far South Side plant.

Voting is underway among workers at the Ford Stamping Plant in Chicago Heights.

The contract looked destined to be rejected even before the Chicago vote ended. With about three-fourths of the vote tallied Wednesday, 52 percent of workers had voted against accepting the contract.

The agreement raises wages for Ford’s 53,000 hourly workers and guarantees $9 billion in investments in U.S. plants. It would end a two-tier wage system at Ford’s plants by bringing new workers up to the wages of longtime workers over eight years. And it promises bonuses worth $10,250 as soon as the contract is ratified.

The automaker has pledged to invest about $1.1 billion in its two Chicago-area factories if the contract is approved.

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