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Relationship Between Ford, UAW Results in Shift of Production from Mexico to Cleveland

Cleveland SkylineThe Ford motor company has announced that it will officially move production of a new series of commercial trucks from a plant in Mexico to a plant near Cleveland, OH. Ford agreed to bring the jobs home during its contract negotiations with the UAW in 2011.  

To prepare for the manufacturing of these new trucks, Ford will pay $168 million to retrofit the plant. The plant currently makes Econoline passenger and commercial vans, a line that is slowly being phased out by the company.  The plant will now produce Ford F-650 and F-750 series trucks, which will replace the E-series and go on sale in the Spring of 2015.  

State Rep. Marcy Kaptur, a Toledo Democrat, praised the relationship between Ford and labor:

“A great victory for Avon Lake and Northern Ohio.  Such an achievement is a glowing testament to the relationship between Ford and the United Auto Workers. Their cooperation ensures that our region will be a force in motor vehicle manufacturing for many years to come.”

Politicians on both sides of the aisle celebrated the reshoring of work:

“As co-chair of the Senate Auto Caucus, I’m thrilled that Ford has decided to move production of their F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks from Mexico to Avon Lake,” Portman said. “Ohio is home to some of the most skilled workers in the world and Ford’s $168 million investment will mean great things for Ohio workers and our local communities. I’m looking forward to working closely with Ford employees and local stakeholders as we move forward with production.”

Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown called the announcement by Ford “excellent news for Northeast Ohio workers” and the state’s auto industry.

“One in every six cars produced in the United States is made in Ohio due to the quality of our workforce,” said Brown. “Bringing production back to the United States from Mexico will strengthen our state’s growing economy and make our local manufacturing base even stronger.”

No exact job-creation estimates have been released, but UAW officials suggest the plant is currently running at roughly 55 percent of its capacity with 1,590 hourly employees.  

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