The Ford Motor Company, a multinational automaker, is reportedly planning to move a $900 million investment originally intended for an Avon Lake, Ohio plant to a site in Mexico, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union alleges.
In a letter to Ohio Assembly Plant (OHAP) employees in Avon Lake, where Ford employs about 1,740 workers manufacturing its F-650 and F-750 medium duty trucks, UAW official Gerald Kariem said Ford had committed to investing $900 million in the project in 2019.
The massive investment, Kariem wrote to workers, included a Ford commitment to bring a “next-generation product” to the Ohio Assembly Plant for production by 2023 and an “exciting vision for the complete revitalization” of the plant to secure “employment well into the foreseeable future.”
“These contractual commitments were an enormous win for the UAW, for the great state of Ohio, the community of Avon Lake, and most importantly the members of Local 2000,” Kariem wrote.
Now, though, the UAW official says Ford executives are backing out of the deal and plan to move the investment to Mexico [emphasis added]:
Unfortunately, Ford Motor Company has decided it will not honor its promise to add a new product to OHAP and, instead, it intends to build the next-generation vehicle in Mexico. Ford management expects us to just hang our heads and accept the decision. But let me be clear, we are making a different choice. We 100 percent reject the company’s decision to put corporate greed and more potential profits over American jobs and the future of our members. We expect the company to honor its contractual commitments to this membership and when it fails to do so we will take action. [Emphasis added]
Kariem said the UAW has asked Ford executives for explanations on why the decision was made to move the intended investment for Ohio to Mexico.
Ohio native and author of the New York Time‘s best-selling book Hillbilly Elegy JD Vance called the decision by Ford “total BS” and “a total bait and switch” move in a statement.
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Much more to learn about this story. But this looks like a total bait and switch: they promised investment in Ohio and reneged.
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) March 18, 2021
“Great way to alienate even more F-150 buyers in the U.S. Not so good for Ford optics in media and public,” a Ford worker wrote online of the move.
Despite Ford’s deep-rooted history in the United States, founded by Henry Ford in 1903, the automaker now has more plants abroad than it does in the U.S. For instance, of Ford’s 36 assembly plants, just eight of them are in the U.S.
Meanwhile, 28 of the automaker’s assembly 36 assembly plants are in countries like China, Mexico, Germany, India, Brazil, and Vietnam. China, alone, has seven Ford assembly plants.
At the same time, Ford CEO Jim Hackett took home about $17.4 million in 2019.
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