Ford’s CEO accuses UAW of ‘holding deal hostage’ concerning EV battery plant negotiations.

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In a recent press briefing, Ford CEO Jim Farley expressed frustration with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, alleging that the ongoing negotiations with Ford over the establishment of electric vehicle (EV) battery plants were being impeded by the UAW’s actions. Farley suggested that the UAW’s decision to expand strikes to two additional assembly plants, one for Ford and one for General Motors, was premeditated and indicated that reaching an agreement before the September 14 deadline might not have been the union’s true intent.

Farley’s public critique of the union was unusual for Ford, a company historically recognized for its union-friendly approach. Although he mentioned that Ford and the UAW were not at an impasse, he warned that an impasse might become a reality if the situation persisted.

General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra echoed Farley’s sentiments, asserting that there appeared to be no genuine intent on the part of the UAW to reach an agreement. She expressed concern that the actions taken might negatively affect GM’s represented team members and the automotive industry as a whole.

In response, UAW President Shawn Fain defended the union’s position, stating that Farley had not been present at the bargaining table and accused him of misrepresenting the state of negotiations. Fain highlighted the disparities between the two parties on critical economic matters, including retirement security, post-retirement healthcare, and job security, particularly in light of the impending transition to electric vehicles, which Farley himself acknowledged would impact a significant portion of UAW members’ jobs.

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