DETROIT — UAW President Gary Jones on Monday delivered a strongly worded message to Ford Motor Co. to kick off contract negotiations: Times have been good, and the companies must pay up.
The message portends contentious talks as the union and Detroit 3 negotiate over wages, health care benefits, manufacturing investment and other topics. The union, Jones said Monday, will demand more for its workers despite calls from the automakers for flexibility as an economic downturn potentially looms.
“Despite record profits, labor is still being asked to take concessions,” Jones said in remarks addressed to Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford, CEO Jim Hackett and other company leaders, calling it a “race to the bottom” that harms U.S. workers.
“Our jobs have been outsourced to companies paying lower wages in the United States, Mexico, China and all over the world,” he said. “This must stop.”
Jones also brought up Ford’s new alliance with Volkswagen Group, saying the union will “look very hard…