Dunn Achieves Solidarity in Kentucky

Ed Springston

UAW Local 862 President Todd Dunn rallied his workers to unite as one voice in contract negotiations with Ford Motor Company yesterday. Dunn will carry a strong influential voice with authority into a contentious contract negotiation. Local 862 represents almost one in every four autoworkers at Ford Motor Company. Dunn’s leadership of the Kentucky workforce in these Ford UAW contract negotiations will likely determine the fate of the Louisville Assembly Plant, once again.

The Kentucky UAW vote enables contract negotiators to authorize a strike at Ford’s Louisville Assembly Plant and Kentucky Truck Plant. Dunn achieved 99% support for the authority to call a strike of the workforce at the facilities if negotiations come to a deadlock. A workforce strike at Ford’s Kentucky vehicle assembly plants will prove to be very costly to Ford Motor Company in substantial losses in vehicle sales and revenues. A loss in vehicle sales generally results in a loss in vehicle market share, depending on the length of the strike. Vehicle assembly plants only produce revenue when workers produce vehicles. The Kentucky Truck Plant produces significantly more revenue than any other Ford plant in the country, according to a former Ford executive. 

The Louisville Assembly Plant is land-locked and cannot expand production lines beyond current capacity to produce more vehicles. The plant has been on Ford Motor Company’s chopping block a number of times in the past because of its capacity constraints. In fact, former UAW Local 862 President Ron Gettlefinger was the last UAW leader to save the Louisville Assembly Plant from extinction as he successfully negotiated new Ford products for the facility’s workforce a decade ago.

The members of UAW Local 862 have provided their leader with a very BIG stick, through solidarity, to have with him at the Ford UAW bargaining table. Will Todd Dunn be able to match Ron Gettelfinger’s success and bring home a great contract for ALL of our autoworkers in Louisville? Will the Louisville Assembly Plant be saved from extinction, once again? 

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