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Ford Returning Work To U.S. Plants

Ford Motor Co. has announced that competitive contracts with the United Auto Workers (UAW) have allowed it to bring nearly 2,000 jobs - that would have gone to parts supply companies, including those located in other countries - back to its U.S. factories. According to the automaker, the 2007 union master contract allows it to hire workers at $14 per hour (although it hasn't begun to do that yet), which is about half the hourly rate of current workers. Factory-level contracts have also changed work rules to make the plants more efficient.

Ford has already brought some 1,340 jobs back into 24 of its plants, assembling parts that otherwise would have been made by outside companies. By 2012, the company plans to bring back another 635 jobs. Among the factories receiving the jobs are those located in Chicago; Sharonville, Ohio, near Cincinnati; and Wayne, Ypsilanti Township, and Sterling Heights, Mich., near Detroit. The UAW has worked with Ford "closely on a more competitive agreement that helped us create the business case for moving more work back to Ford facilities, and back to America," said Ford Americas President Mark Fields at an auto industry conference held today in Traverse City, Mich.

Those jobs being returned to the U.S. include gas-electric hybrid transmission components, which are being brought in from Japan; battery pack assembly from Mexico; steel forging from India; and transmission gear machining from Japan. By returning this work to its U.S. facilities, Ford can make sure the work adheres to its quality standards.

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