Something must be ongoing as a leading U.S. carmaker such as Ford Motor Company highlights its health benefits along with the introduction of a new multi-billion dollar multi-state manufacturing investment plan with a strong focus on electric vehicles. Building and retaining thousands of labor in a hypercompetitive labor market is a good assumption, and there could be other factors.
More electric vehicles and healthcare, too
Ford launched its new high-speed electric vehicle production plan on June 2nd. He put union affairs and health benefits first.
United Auto Workers and Ford Motor Company leaders today announced plans to add more than 6,200 new jobs to U.S. manufacturing in the Midwest, turning nearly 3,000 UAW-Ford temporary workers into permanent full-time status and providing health benefits to all employees by the hour of the first day of employment, ”Ford said in a June 2 press release.
The top management of the UAW made statements on its own website.
UAW Vice President Chuck Browning highlighted the health benefits.
“The essential necessity of quality health care and full-time employment are long-standing principles that have been passed on to the Company by the UAW International Union and our local UAW unions since our inception,” he said.
“I welcome the actions of Ford Motor Company to address these issues outside the area of collective bargaining. These unprecedented steps were taken by Bill Ford Jr. and CEO Jim Farley are a refreshing and innovative approach to working relationships that brings great benefits when our valuable members need them most, ”he added.
UAW President Ray Curry also drew attention to health benefits. “We always advocate to employers and legislators that union jobs are worth the investment. Ford came up with a plan by adding these jobs and turning 3,000 UAW members into permanent full-time status with benefits, ”he said.
Wait, how many electric vehicles?
To be clear, the new multi-state plan is not all about electric vehicles. As with other legacy carmakers, Ford is still detaching itself from centuries of fossil-focused operations. However, electric vehicles enjoy much of the love.
The new production plan includes $ 3.7 billion in investments in factories located in Ohio, Michigan and Missouri. In addition to creating 6,200 new jobs at these plants, Ford also predicts a ripple effect of a total of 74,000 jobs for companies other than Ford across the United States.
A good $ 2 billion of the total plan goes to Michigan, where Ford will create 2,000 new jobs in three assembly plants. One of them, the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, will increase production of Ford’s popular all-electric F-150 Lightning truck to 150,000 units per year.
Electric vehicles are also in the mix in Missouri, where a relatively modest $ 95 million investment and the creation of 1,100 union jobs will trigger a third shift at Ford’s assembly plant in Kansas City. This will enable Ford to increase production of its new E-Transit EV, as well as the more famous Transit ICE version of the popular van.
Mystery commercial electric vehicles are part of the plan
Perhaps the most interesting part of the plan is $ 1.5 billion directed to Ohio, where Ford will open 1,800 union jobs at the Ohio plant for a “brand new EV commercial vehicle” in the next few years.
Interesting! If you have any idea what this “brand new EV commercial vehicle” might be, leave us a message in a series of comments.
Maybe it has something to do with the Oshkosh Defense contract for new US Postal Service vehicles, or maybe not. On the other hand, last summer Detroit Free Press reported that Ford will supply laptops to Oshkosh for its postal service contract for the production of battery-powered electric vehicles and ICE models. Maybe that inspired Ford to look for new opportunities in the field of commercial electric vehicles.
Whatever it is, Ford has not yet said, although he gave a hint that the new commercial EV will be aligned with the Ford Pro service package, which he proposed to fleet managers switching to electric vehicles. Based on Ford’s May 23 press release, we speculate that a medium-sized truck could be in the pipeline for moving or delivery.
“Ford Pro is also helping government agencies and businesses of all sizes do their part to address the urgency of climate change and help accelerate progress toward a sustainable future by showing them the clear benefits of the electrical ecosystem,” Ford said, citing the recent launch of the Ford Pro Leasing, among other partners.
How about pregnancy rights with your healthy food?
As for how Ford managed to gain the support of the UAW leadership, it’s no secret. Ford seems to have done its homework and done its best to attract and retain more workers per hour in a challenging environment.
The current labor shortage can be particularly challenging for the manufacturing sector, where teleworking is impossible. Instead, Ford’s production plan includes $ 1 billion in workplace improvements.
“As a result of talks with UAW, Ford is taking steps to identify and respond to the greatest wishes and needs of employees. Potential improvements include better access to healthy food, new EV chargers in plant parking lots, better lighting in parking lots and more, ”explains Ford.
Providing health benefits to hourly workers is a significant part of the plan and should have a significant impact on Ford’s ability to attract workers who might otherwise be looking for opportunities to work from home, self-employment, or gig.
A June 2 statement did not provide details of the health plan, but Ford’s overall emphasis on hourly health benefits could put the company in a rather interesting position if and when the U.S. Supreme Court dismisses 50-year-old Roe v. The Wade decision and other precedents supporting the right of pregnant women to conduct their own pregnancies, without state or community oversight.
A leaked draft of Roe V. Wade’s upcoming decision has already affected corporate human resource planning across the country. Two-tenths of Republican-controlled state legislatures have already passed or drafted “initiation laws” that impose severe restrictions on the right to pregnancy. These include Missouri and Ohio, while Michigan retains only the veto power of Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
“The most convincing economic decision a woman will make in her life is whether and when to have a child … and if you get a job in Michigan and you no longer have that right, it will be hard to tell Michigan is where you should come and make your life , ”Governor Whitmer told those in bipartisan politics earlier this week.
In that regard, Ford announced last fall the creation of 11,000 new jobs in partnership with battery maker SK On in two other states where real pregnant women are under attack, Tennessee and Kentucky.
There is no word yet on whether Ford plans to take action or not, but other corporations are laying the groundwork to increase their support for pregnancy rights through their health plans, mostly by including travel benefits to countries where the pregnant agency is respected and legally protected.
At the time of writing, corporations appear to be largely interested in protecting their full-time employees. Protective policies for part-time and hourly employees could also be drafted when the final version of Roe v. Wade’s decision goes public.
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Photo: Electric vehicles highlighted in new investment plan, courtesy of Ford Motor Co.
Note to our commentators: If you are wondering why the Ford Foundation is not mentioned in this article, they are a completely separate entity, as the organization clearly states on its homepage.
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