The executive chair of Ford Motor Company, Bill Ford Jr., has called on the United Auto Workers union to make a deal and end an increasingly acrimonious set of negotiations with the company that are potentially harming the automaker and its workers.
The call from Ford came on the heels of a series of protests outside of the company’s assembly plants, where UAW members have been airing their grievances to management and calling for a better deal.
Speaking to Automotive News, Ford said he hopes the two sides can come to an agreement soon and put an end to the ongoing dispute.
“I think it’s in both of our interests to get a good contract,” he said. “I think everybody wants it, now it’s just a matter of how long the acrimony continues before we can get to a negotiated deal.”
Ford noted that the contentious negotiations have been a distraction from the company’s efforts to build world-class vehicles and noted that while the automaker is ready to sit down with the UAW and make a deal, it has been the union that has been difficult to reach.
“We’re open to the dialogue,” Ford said. “Our lines are always open and the door is always open in terms of further dialogue. We’d like to see it on the union’s side, just as much as our side.”
Ford declined to provide specifics on what needs to be included in a deal for the automaker and its workers, noting that those discussions have to be kept between the company and the UAW.
For now, Ford and the UAW are at a standstill, and many industry watchers are wondering how long the standoff will last. But the executive chairman is hopeful that the two sides will eventually come to a deal that is fair for everyone.