UAW Threatens Strike at Key Ford Plant in Kentucky

The plant shut down during the UAW's strike in 2023.

The Kentucky plant builds Ford Super Duty pickups.

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union announced a potential strike at Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant if ongoing local contract disputes are not resolved promptly. The plant, known for producing the highly profitable Super Duty trucks, could see a halt in operations at 12:01 a.m. Feb. 23.

This threat of industrial action comes on the heels of Ford CEO Jim Farley's reflections on the previous year's strike, which he described as a pivotal moment altering Ford's rapport with the union. Farley highlighted Ford's unique position among the Detroit Three automakers for manufacturing its most profitable trucks domestically.

The looming strike could affect close to 9,000 UAW members at the Kentucky facility. The union's grievances center on health and safety standards within the plant, particularly the staffing levels of in-plant nurses and ergonomic concerns, alongside Ford's alleged attempts to undermine the skilled trades sector at the plant.

UAW Vice President Chuck Browning formally requested authorization to set the strike deadline, emphasizing the union's dissatisfaction with Ford's response more than five months after the contract deadline. Todd Dunn, president of UAW Local 862, expressed hope the longstanding issues would finally be addressed, citing previous successes in using strike notices to prompt negotiations.

The potential strike follows a year where approximately 150,000 autoworkers across Ford, General Motors and Stellantis secured significant contract improvements. The UAW pointed out the crucial role played by Kentucky Truck Plant workers in achieving these national victories.

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