Ford Motor Co. is hiring 1,550 hourly workers in the first quarter of 2015 to hike output of the F-150 pickup. The move will means that between 300 and 500 UAW members under Tier 2 hourly wage level ($19.28) will be promoted to top-tier status ($28.50), according to Bill Dirksen, Ford vice president of labor affairs.
They would be the first entry-level UAW workers to be promoted to top-tier wages under terms of Ford's 2011 UAW contract. Most of them were hired from February through June 2010 and work at Ford’s Kansas City, Louisville and Chicago assembly sites.
Dirksen disclosed the new employees will be sent to: Ford’s truck assembly plant in Kansas City, Mo. (900 new workers); the stamping and diversified operations in Dearborn, Mich. (500 workers); and at Ford’s Sterling Axle plant in suburban Detroit (150 workers).
The new employees will receive Tier 2 wages of around $16 an hour while their benefits will be just half received by long-time hourly Ford workers. The carmaker’s Dearborn assembly plant has been operating three crews on four-day, 10-hour per day work schedules to be able to cater with demand for the 2015 F-150.
The same schedule will be implement at Ford’s Kansas City plant when it moves from building pre-production F-150s to production ones in the first quarter. High demand for the F-150 has resulted to a 12-day supply on dealer lots. Dirksen remarked that consumers have configured one million F-150s on the Ford Web site.
He said that savings from the 2011 UAW contract and its Tier 2 wage provision have allowed Ford to invest $6.2 billion in the United States for hiking production. The provision has also enabled Ford to add 15,000 hourly UAW members.