Ford secures future of Midwest plants ahead of UAW talks

The praise from UAW leaders stands in sharp contrast to their tone a little over a year ago, when the union lambasted Ford for moving planned production of two upcoming electric crossovers from Ohio Assembly to Mexico.

Gerald Kariem, head of the UAW-Ford department at the time, decried what he called Ford’s “corporate greed,” even as the automaker vowed to continue investing in the plant.

Galhotra said the kerfuffle was an unavoidable part of the company’s fast-changing plans.

“The industry is going through a very significant transformation from internal combustion to electric vehicles,” he said. “There are times where we have to make tough choices and times when those decisions are in flux. About a year ago, a decision to put an electric vehicle [in Ohio] wasn’t done yet. We took that time and came up with a plan that secures the future with this plant and gets a great electric vehicle to the marketplace very quickly.”

The promised investment was welcome news for Kevin Carr, who has worked at Ohio Assembly for 21 years. Although he’s approaching retirement, Carr said he’s happy for his son, Mitchell Carr, who became a full-time employee at the plant two years ago.

“This solidifies the future,” he said from the sidelines of this week’s announcement. “It always feels good to find out you’re appreciated and getting a product.”

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