Votes will be submitted on Nov. 13 and 14 by workers at a Ford Motor Co. plant in suburban Kansas City, Mo., to decide whether to authorize a strike.
Despite the seriousness of this development, the head of the UAW local has expressed confidence that the matter will be resolved. Changes in work processes at the plant were what set off the dispute between Ford and UAW Local 249.
Ford said that those changes are simply part of an annual reworking that it does at every plant. The Kansas City plant manufactures F-150 pickup trucks and Ford Escape, Mercury Mariner and Mazda Tribute crossovers.
Jeff Wright, president of Local 249, refers to the voting as a formality. Wright said that talks with Ford are ongoing that this is just one step in the process. Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans said the plant continues to operate normally.
Evans asserted that the carmaker is working jointly with the UAW at the national and local level to resolve the issues that have been raised by Local 249.
She explained that the taking of a strike authorization vote does not necessarily indicate that a work stoppage will result. She calls a strike as the last resort if a resolution can't be reached.