Ford adds 6,200 new US jobs to boost EV, gas-powered car production
Ford (F) once again is putting its money where its mouth is, with big new investments in its workers and its most popular vehicles.
Ford says it will invest $3.7 billion and add more than 6,200 new UAW (United Auto Worker) jobs in factories in Michigan, Ohio, and Missouri. The automaker will also convert close to 3,000 temporary workers to full-time status, as well as provide healthcare benefits to all hourly employees when they start working with Ford.
“Transforming our company for the next era of American manufacturing requires new ways of working, and together with UAW leadership, we are leading the way and moving fast to make improvements to benefits for our hourly employees and working conditions for our factory teams,” Ford CEO Jim Farley said in a statement.
Those additional workers, along with investments in the factories in those states, will support production of the electric F-150 Lightning pickup and E-Transit van, as well as the next-gen Mustang coupe, new Ranger midsize pickup, and a just-announced all-new commercial vehicle for Ford Pro customers.
“Ford is America’s Number 1 employer of hourly autoworkers, and this investment only deepens our commitment to building great new vehicles – from an all-new Mustang to new EVs – right here in the U.S. in partnership with the UAW,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairperson, in a statement. “I am proud that we are investing in the Midwest and taking real action to provide better benefits and working conditions for our workers on the plant floor.”
The addition of new union jobs and plant investments is somewhat of a surprise, as these types of announcements are usually made when formal contract negotiations are completed. In this case UAW’s contract with Ford expires in 2023.
With Ford’s newer EV and battery plants being built in non-union states like Tennessee and Kentucky, this move to increase union workers may be Ford’s way of assuaging the fears of workers in the “old co,” or Ford Blue unit that houses the traditional ICE (internal combustion engine) business.
The new hires announced today are in addition to the 11,000 workers it is hiring for its new EV and battery operations in Tennessee and Kentucky, known as BlueOval City and BlueOval SK respectively. It should also be noted that these new hires and temp worker conversions are occurring amid the backdrop of a worker shortage in America, which has seen wages rise, job openings jump, and the quit rate spike.
Ford shares are climbing higher today, though the stock is down 33% thus far in 2022.
Pras Subramanian is a senior autos reporter for Yahoo Finance. You can follow him on Twitter and on Instagram.
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