WBEZ | Ford http://www.wbez.org/tags/ford Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Locally made police cars debut at Chicago Auto Show http://www.wbez.org/story/locally-made-police-cars-debut-chicago-auto-show-96183 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2012-February/2012-02-07/Interceptor.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The Chicago Auto Show opens this week and among the vehicles to debut are new police cars made locally. Ford is showing off two models of police "Interceptors" manufactured at Chicago's Southeast Side plant. One model is a sedan, the other a SUV.</p><p>Mike Moran is a communications manager at Ford.</p><p>"This is moving into the next generation of police pursuit vehicles for us. For 15 years the Ford Crown Victoria was the leader in the sales of police units," Moran said.</p><p>Moran said the all-wheel drive Interceptors are well-positioned to become the squad car of choice around the country. He said rigorous tests done by Los Angeles and Michigan Police departments have given the vehicle high marks across the board. He added that Cook County and Illinois State police have already placed orders, and cars should be on the road sometime this Spring. Manufacturing on these models began in January of this year.</p><p>Among the specialty features, the 2013 model vehicles have "EcoBoost" engines that can boost speed in a chase situation, but otherwise operate in a more fuel-efficient mode.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 07 Feb 2012 19:24:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/locally-made-police-cars-debut-chicago-auto-show-96183 United Auto Workers vote 'yes' to Ford contract http://www.wbez.org/story/united-auto-workers-vote-yes-ford-contract-93243 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-18/Ford Gary Malerba 2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Ford union autoworkers have approved a new four-year contract that's expected to bring 2,000 jobs to the Chicago region.</p><p>At first, it didn't seem like a slam dunk deal. Many workers complained the new contract reinforced an unfair two-tier payment system with part time workers doing the same work as full-timers and getting paid substantially less. The new contract included profit-sharing in lieu of pay raises, and many living in expensive metropolitan areas like Chicago wanted a cost of living pay increase.</p><p>Chicago's union workers were so against the contract that 77 percent of the South Side assembly plant voted against it last week; 70 percent at the Chicago Heights stamping plant did the same.</p><p>But as big 'yes' votes came in over the weekend from major facilities in Michigan and Kansas City, the scales began to tip tellingly in favor of the contract.&nbsp; Workers in Louisville, Ky., approved the agreement Tuesday, according to a post on the Louisville local's Facebook page. That was the last large local to vote, and it ensures the agreement will go into effect.</p><p>A final tally was not immediately available from the UAW Wednesday morning.</p><p>Richard Hurd, Professor of Labor Studies at Cornell University, said he's not surprised at all in the variation between plants on the vote. He said typically in votes for or against a contract, a local union leader holds a lot of sway.&nbsp;</p><p>Regarding the case of the Chicago plants' rejection, he thought it could go deeper.</p><p>"It could be that there are tensions in the facility and the vote reflects things other than the workers particular view towards the terms of the agreement.<strong> </strong>There may be bad relations between the current plant manager and workers, or between supervisors and workers. So workers less happy with situation will be more likely to vote against a contract," Hurd said.</p><p>The UAW represents approximately 41,000 hourly and salaried workers across 27 Ford manufacturing and assembling facilities in the United States. Now that the vote is in, the new four-year contract will begin moving forward. According to a UAW press release, it includes adding 5,750 new UAW jobs.</p><p>"These new UAW jobs mean more than 12,000 new jobs in total with jobs previously announced by Ford," said UAW President Bob King.</p><p>Chicago's two area plants are expected to reap 2,000 new jobs out of the deal by 2015. The agreement also promises $16 billion Ford is investing in new and upgraded vehicles and retooling plants.</p><p>A signing bonus for workers comes in at $6,000 dollars, which according to Hurd, is a big figure in these days of a depressed economy.</p><p>Now that the contract is approved, local unions will continue work on bargaining on behalf of individual plant agreements.</p></p> Wed, 19 Oct 2011 12:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/united-auto-workers-vote-yes-ford-contract-93243 New Ford-UAW contract moves closer to approval http://www.wbez.org/story/new-ford-uaw-contract-moves-closer-approval-93221 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-18/AP Photo Gary Malerba Ford.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Tuesday is a big day for union members at Ford auto plants across the Midwest. Voting is scheduled to close on a new a new four-year contract that could mean more than 1,000 jobs for Chicago and the region.</p><p>Earlier this month, Ford and the United Auto Workers reached a tentative agreement. Under it, Ford workers won't get annual raises, but will get profit-sharing checks and a $6,000 dollar signing bonus.</p><p>Workers at Chicago area two Ford plants voted overwhelmingly against the new contracts. Among their gripes: it doesn't pay a cost of living increase and doesn't pay part-time workers a fair wage.</p><p>But Chicago's workers appear to be outliers. Most plant workers around the Midwest have given the contract their blessing.</p><p>As of Monday night, the UAW reported the vote stood at 63 percent in favor. Remaining workers scheduled to vote today.<br> <br> &nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 18 Oct 2011 12:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/new-ford-uaw-contract-moves-closer-approval-93221 Ford workers reject contract; possible strike looms http://www.wbez.org/story/ford-workers-reject-contract-possible-strike-looms-93135 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-13/Ford Explorer M.Spencer Green.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Workers at a Chicago Ford plant rejected the company's tentative four-year contract and are being told to prepare for a possible strike. Seventy-seven percent of the workers at the south side plant said no to Ford's proposal.</p><p>The proposed contract includes a $6,000 dollar signing bonus, profit-sharing in lieu of annual raises and adding 1,100 jobs to two Chicago area plants.</p><p>But new workers would be paid less than existing staffers. And as automotive analyst George Augustaitis said, workers want to see a piece of Ford's recent success.</p><p>"The workers who have been there a long time are saying, 'Hey, I've taken an eight year pay freeze, I want my windfall now,'" Augustaitis said.</p><p>Meantime, a Ford spokeswoman said the company thinks their offer is fair. Nine hundred workers at the Chicago Heights Ford plant are voting on the contract today.</p><p>Union officials and plant workers did not immediately return calls for comment.<br> &nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 13 Oct 2011 19:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/ford-workers-reject-contract-possible-strike-looms-93135 Emanuel plans to repeal city head tax http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-plans-repeal-city-head-tax-92883 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//rahm hearing.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The mayor introduced a measure to the city council this week that will cut the head tax in half next year and do away with it by 2014.</p><p>If a company in Chicago employs more than 50 people, it has to pay four dollars a month for every employee. Mayor Rahm Emanuel calls this head tax a "job killer."</p><p>He says cutting the head tax has already made Chicago more attractive to businesses such as Ford - which recently announced it wants to add jobs to its South Side plant.</p><p>"This has been a significant piece in our ability to win those jobs at that Ford plant and add a third shift in the Ford plant in the city of Chicago," he said.</p><p>Eliminating the head tax will drop the city's annual revenue by $23 million. His administration said in a press release that the lost revenue will be offset by other reductions in the 2012 budget. The mayor will present his full budget proposal next week.</p></p> Thu, 06 Oct 2011 11:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-plans-repeal-city-head-tax-92883 Chrysler, Ford, GM All Had Sales Gains In 2010 http://www.wbez.org/story/around-nation/chrysler-ford-gm-all-had-sales-gains-2010 <p><p>"Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. today all reported double-digit sales increases for 2010," <a href="http://www.detnews.com/article/20110104/AUTO01/101040394/GM--Chrysler--Ford-report-double-digit-sales-increases" target="_blank"><em>The Detroit News</em> reports</a>.</p><p>Some of the specifics:</p><p>-- Sales were up 17 percent at Chrysler, which moved 1.1 million vehicles in 2010.</p><p>-- Ford sold 1.9 million, up 19 percent.</p><p>-- GM's four "core brands," the <em>News</em> says, sold 21 percent more vehicles than in 2009.</p><p><a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20110104/BUSINESS0101/110104025/Buick-leads-the-way" target="_blank">The <em>Detroit Free Press</em> says</a> that for the year and including foreign brand names, an estimated 11.5 million vehicles were sold -- up from 10.4 million in 2009. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1294168932?&gn=Chrysler%2C+Ford%2C+GM+All+Had+Sales+Gains+In+2010&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=Economy,Ford,General+Motors,Chrysler,Business,National+News,The+Two-Way,Around+the+Nation,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=132653721&c7=1001&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1001&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110104&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=132653762,132653758,132653756,132653754,127747535,127602855,103943429,132652291,128520001,127602855,127602802,103943429,126567525,126567486,126567402,103537970,132650438,132650436,127602855,103943429,132648936,127602855,103943429,132646885,132646883,127857532,127602855,103943429,132646695,132646693,127602855,127602596,103943429,132646415,132646409,127602855,127602446,103943429&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Tue, 04 Jan 2011 13:10:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/around-nation/chrysler-ford-gm-all-had-sales-gains-2010