Saturday, June 10

Ford raises pressure for Almussafes to accept cuts

The address of Ford Spain has canceled the meeting scheduled for this Monday with the unions of Almussafes in which both parties had to continue negotiating the cuts that the company has put on the workers’ table in exchange for ensuring the workload of the Valencian factory in the medium term with the assignment of two electric models.

According to sources from the works council, the company has limited itself to sending an email to the different unions informing that “the review of the Ford situation is cancelled”, without providing further reasons. The appointment was arranged for 3:00 p.m. this Monday and the message was received at 1:44 p.m.

This meeting, the thirteenth of the so-called “Negotiating Commission for the Electrification Agreement”, seemed crucial, since the Spanish management of Ford must send the cuts agreement agreed with the Almussafes staff to the European headquarters at the latest this Thursday. In that same race there is also the German factory in Saarlouis. The plant that offers greater “competitiveness” to Ford will receive those two contracts at stake.

At the moment the positions are far away. The company, which specified its objectives last week, asks reduce salaries by 10%, eliminate a week of vacation and extend working hours by half an hour. The unions flatly reject cutting salaries (in 2021 they will rise by 7%), although UGT opened last week to negotiate possible freezes for the next three years, as long as Almussafes received the awards.

The gesture is important, since with 97% affiliation in the factory, UGT has the last word to seal any pact with the management. Always with those two contracts in hand, which according to the UGT spokesman José Luis Parra would ensure work for the next 15 years, the union arrived at the meeting on Monday with the intention of already offering the first sacrifices.

The proposal: wage freeze

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Thus, the proposal would be aimed at agreeing on three years of salary freeze and another two in which salaries would be reviewed based on the CPI but without consolidation in the salary tables. That is to say, the union offers concessions in the 2022-2025 stage, estimating that it will be the most complicated time for the factory, since even receiving the award of the electric ones, they would not start manufacturing until 2025 and the current models are already beginning to expire ( in March the Mondeo leaves, in 2023 part of the Transit and in 2025 only the Kuga will remain).

Minority unions for the moment reject any setback both in salary level and in the section on vacations and the duration of the day, and warn that freezing salaries in a scenario in which experts point out that inflation will continue to rise can reduce considerably the purchasing power of the more than 6,000 workers of Ford Almussafes.