2,000 Ford Jobs Back on Table

Union members across the country outvoted Chicago workers to approve the deal

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    Under the new deal, 1,100 jobs would come to Ford's Torrence Avenue plant in Chicago.

    United Autoworkers on Tuesday approved a new contract with Ford Motor Co. that could bring as many as 2,000 jobs to Chicago.

    Union members across the country outvoted Chicago workers who overwhelmingly voted against the proposed deal. Of 2,317 total workers at the Torrence Avenue plant, UAW Local 551 said only 539 agreed to the tentative contract after two days of voting.

    Workers at the Chicago Heights stamping plant rejected the deal two-to-one, according to UAW Local 588.

    The contract includes a $6,000 signing bonus and profit-sharing checks in lieu of annual raises, but a potential sticking point may have been pay for new hires. New employees would be paid less than existing employees to keep costs down.

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    Oct. 13, 2011: Gov. Pat Quinn warned last week it was too early to celebrate 2,000 proposed Illinois jobs.

    Quinn remained confident in a positive outcome. Still, he said, the process should be respected. "I believe in workplace democracy," he said. "Workers have a right to look at the agreement and see if they want to ratify it."

    Ford said in a statement last week the company believes the agreement "is fair to our employees and improves Ford's competitiveness in the U.S."