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Ford to boost entry-level pay by $9.22 an hour, hire back laid off workers


Pumpkin Pilot
Staff member
Elite Explorer
February 8, 1999
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City, State
Wayoutin, Aridzona
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XL Pumpkin Edition

CHICAGO | Hundreds of Ford employees, mostly at the Chicago Assembly Plant, will get a historic 48 percent pay raise as the automaker goes on a hiring spree nationwide.

Entry-level union workers will see their hourly wages jump by $9.22 an hour because Ford is hiring 1,550 more workers nationwide to make more F-series pickup trucks, exceeding the cap on entry-level employees in its 2011 contract with the United Automobile Workers union.

Ford also expects to rehire the 96 long-term supplemental workers who had been dismissed by robocall from the Chicago Assembly Plant on Halloween, spokeswoman Kristina Adamski said. They all worked at least 40 hours a week and had been the least senior workers at the 91-year-old auto factory in Hegewisch, which currently employs around 3,800 workers.

Employment has more than tripled at the plant at Torrence Avenue and 130th Street since 2010, when it started making the Explorer sport utility vehicle in addition to the Taurus and the Lincoln MKS. The factory also makes the Police Interceptor versions of the Explorer and Taurus.

About 300 to 500 Ford workers will see their entry-level wage of $19.28 an hour jump to $28.50 an hour since the automaker has now exceeded its quota of entry-level jobs nationally. The employees who will get raises are in Chicago, Kansas City and Louisville, but the majority work in Chicago. The pay raises are based on seniority and expected to take place over the next two months.

"This is very exciting news and these additional jobs will have an impact in communities all across our nation," said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president and director, National Ford Department. "This also represents a major milestone for employees hired under the entry level agreement, as many will now begin to convert to 'new traditional' wage status, as negotiated in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement."

Ford credits the collective bargaining agreement with making it more competitive and has since invested more than $6.2 billion in its U.S. plants. The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker, which employs another 1,200 workers at the Chicago Stamping Plant in Chicago Heights, has hired more than 15,000 hourly UAW workers nationally since inking the contract, which expires this year.

More than 2,600 of those new workers are at the Chicago Assembly Plant, one of the Calumet Region's largest employers. The 2.8 million-square-foot factory on the Calumet River has been running a full three shifts to keep up with demands for the hot-selling Explorer, which was America's top-selling midsize SUV for the fourth straight year in 2014.

Ford sold 14,995 Explorers in January, a 28 percent increase. Sales of the Police Interceptor version of the Explorer also were up 83 percent in January.

Explorer sales have continued to rise steadily month after month, Ford U.S. Sales Analyst Erich Merkle said.

"It's the best January since 2005," Merkle said. "The Explorer behaves a little differently than other vehicles in the industry, in that we're able to sell what we can produce. We have to make more in order to sell more. It's a good problem to have."


Elite Explorer
November 6, 2000
Reaction score
Year, Model & Trim Level
2018 EX Sport Concept
Collective bargaining works well - when both sides have members who behave themselves professionally - like adults - AND actually have the best interests of both the company AND its workers in mind.

When workers' representatives and company representatives BOTH want the company to succeed and profit so it can benefit ALL of the current employees and support new hires in the future, this is what you can get. When it turns into a power struggle and the company just wants obscene profits and wants to abuse workers and have as few of them as possible, working for as little money as possible, for the longest amount of time as possible, or you get unions with leaders that just want to line their pockets and abuse their position and put peoples careers in jeopardy so they can benefit, then you have problems.

Also nice to see the new Explorer has paid off well for Ford.

I expect that will mean the model will continue on for the foreseeable future.