WBEZ | Ford Explorer http://www.wbez.org/tags/ford-explorer Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en 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 Ford pushes new Explorer at Chicago Auto Show http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-auto-show/ford-pushes-new-explorer-chicago-auto-show <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/IMG_7133.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Anyone visiting the Ford display at the Chicago Auto Show can expect to see a strong presence from the new Explorer. The SUV is being built at the Ford plant on Chicago's South Side.</p><p>Last summer, Ford gathered some of Illinois' most prominent politicians to unveil the new Explorer.</p><p>&quot;Illinois is Ford country. We believe in Ford,&quot;&nbsp;Gov. Pat Quinn said.</p><p>Ford estimated the production created 1,200 new jobs at the South Side plant. Now Ford is putting the Explorer front and center in its display at the Chicago Auto Show, which opens Friday. <br /><br />&quot;If it's off to a good start and it's solid, then it's going to provide a solid employment base,&quot; Ford spokesman Eric Peterson said. &quot;That's up to all of us. Make sure we market it and put a great product out there and then we know the people in Chicago build world class products so it's good news for everyone.&quot;</p><p>Peterson said the new Explorer went on sale at the beginning of the year.<br /><br /><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 10 Feb 2011 13:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-auto-show/ford-pushes-new-explorer-chicago-auto-show