Ford Brings Electric Vehicles With Multiple Sides of Healthcare

Something must be going on as top US automakers like Ford Motor Company highlight its health benefits alongside the launch of new multi-state, multi-billion dollar manufacturing investment plans with a primary focus on electric vehicles. Building and retaining thousands of workers in a highly competitive labor market is a good guess, and other factors can play a role as well.

More Electric Vehicles & Health Care

Ford unveiled its new EV manufacturing plan on June 2. This puts union work and health benefits front and center.

“The United Auto Workers and Ford Motor Company leaders today announced plans to add more than 6,200 new U.S. manufacturing jobs in the Midwest, convert nearly 3,000 UAW-Ford temporary workers to permanent full-time status and provide all hourly employee health benefits on day one. . employment,” Ford said in a press release dated June 2.

Top leadership at UAW chimed in with a statement on their own website.

UAW Vice President Chuck Browning emphasized the health benefits.

“The essential need of quality healthcare and full-time employment is a longstanding principle that has been communicated to the Company by our UAW International Union and our UAW Local Union of Workers since our inception,” he said.

“I applaud Ford Motor Company’s actions to address this issue outside the realm of collective bargaining. The unprecedented steps taken by Bill Ford Jr. and CEO Jim Farley this is a refreshing and innovative approach to working relationships that delivers great benefits when needed by our hardworking members,” he added.

UAW President Ray Curry also drew attention to the health benefits. “We have always advocated to employers and legislators that union work is worth the investment. Ford stepped forward by adding this job and converting 3000 UAW members to full-time permanent status with benefits,” he said.

Wait, How Many Electric Vehicles?

To be clear, the new multi-state plan isn’t all about electric vehicles. Like other legacy automakers, Ford is still breaking away from fossil-centric operations for a century. However, electric vehicles do get a big share of the love.

The new manufacturing plan involves a $3.7 billion investment round in factories located in Ohio, Michigan, and Missouri. Along with the creation of 6,200 new jobs at the facility, Ford also anticipates a ripple effect totaling 74,000 jobs for businesses other than Ford across the US.

A good $2 billion of the total plan will go to Michigan, where Ford will create 2,000 new jobs at three assembly plants. One of them, the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, will increase production of Ford’s popular all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck to 150,000 units per year.

Electric vehicles are also in Missouri, where a relatively modest $95 million investment and the creation of 1,100 union jobs will power a third shift at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant. That will allow Ford to ramp up production of its new E-Transit EV, as well as the more familiar Transit ICE version of the popular van.

“Mystery” Commercial Electric Vehicle Is Part Of The Plan

Perhaps the most exciting part of the plan is the $1.5 billion that goes to Ohio, where Ford will create 1,800 union jobs at the Ohio Assembly Plant for “new commercial EV vehicles” in the next few years.

Interesting! If you know what this “new EV commercial vehicle” is, leave us a note in the comment thread.

It may have something to do with Oshkosh Defense’s contract for a new US Postal Service vehicle, or it may not. On the possible side, last summer Detroit Free Press reports that Ford will supply transmissions to Oshkosh for its Postal Service contract to produce battery electric vehicles and ICE models. Perhaps that inspired Ford to seek new opportunities in the commercial EV field.

Either way, Ford hasn’t said anything yet, although it does provide hints that the new commercial EV will fit into the company’s Ford Pro service package, which has been offered to fleet managers switching to electric vehicles. Based on Ford’s press release dated May 23, we suspect a medium-sized haul or delivery truck is in the works.

“Ford Pro is also helping government agencies and businesses of all sizes do their part to address the urgency of climate change and help accelerate progress toward a sustainable future by showing them the clear benefits of the electric ecosystem,” Ford said, citing the recent launch. . relationship between Ford Pro and Penske Truck Leasing, among other partners.

How About Some Pregnancy Right With Your Healthy Food?

As for how Ford managed to get the support of the UAW leadership, it’s no secret. Ford appears to have done its homework and has worked harder to attract, and retain, more hourly workers in a challenging environment.

The ongoing labor shortage can be a particular challenge for the manufacturing sector, where remote work is impossible. In contrast, Ford’s manufacturing plan includes up to $1 billion in workplace improvements.

“As a result of discussions with the UAW, Ford is taking steps to identify and address key employee wants and needs. Potential upgrades include better access to healthy food, new EV chargers in factory parking lots, better lighting in parking lots, and more,” explains Ford.

Providing health benefits to hourly workers is a key part of the plan and should have a significant impact on Ford’s ability to attract workers who may be seeking work from home, self-employment, or gig opportunities.

The June 2 announcement didn’t elaborate on the details of its healthcare plan, but Ford’s overall emphasis on health benefits for hourly workers could put the company in a somewhat interesting position if and when the Republican-majority US Supreme Court disbands 50-year-old Roe. v. Wade’s decision and other precedents support the right of pregnant women to regulate their own pregnancies, free from state or community policing.

A leaked draft of Roe V. Wade’s upcoming decision has had an impact on corporate human resource planning across the country. Two dozen Republican-controlled state legislatures have passed or prepared “trigger statutes” that place harsh restrictions on maternity rights. That includes Missouri and Ohio, with Michigan only being held back by Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s veto.

“The most exciting economic decision a woman will make in her life is whether and when to have children… Michigan is a place where you have to come and make your life,” Governor Whitmer told the audience at a bipartisan policy earlier this week.

In this regard, last fall Ford announced the creation of 11,000 new jobs in partnership with battery manufacturer SK On in two other states where the rights of pregnant people are under attack, Tennessee and Kentucky.

There’s no word yet on whether Ford is drawing up plans to take action, but other companies have laid the groundwork for increasing their support for maternity rights through their health plans, particularly by including travel allowances to states where maternity agencies are located. respected and protected by law.

As of this writing, it appears that companies are primarily interested in protecting their full-time employees. Protection policies for part-time and hourly employees may also be implemented after the final version of the Roe v decision. Wade published.

Hold your hat!

Follow me on Twitter @TinaMCasey.

Photo: Electric vehicles highlighted in new manufacturing investment plan, courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

Note to our commenters: If you’re wondering why The Ford Foundation isn’t mentioned in this article, they are completely separate entities, as the organization clearly states on its home page.

 


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