Ford, UAW negotiators meet in Dearborn for ‘final stretch’ of contract talks

Negotiating teams for Ford Motor Co. and the UAW gathered Monday at the company’s world headquarters in Dearborn to focus on economic issues in the next four-year labor contract for hourly workers.

“They started in earnest this morning,” said UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg.

Officially, union leaders and Ford opened discussions July 15 and have been talking behind the scenes about “non-economic issues” while the UAW hammered out key economic terms with General Motors during a strike lasting nearly six weeks.

With “pattern” deal points now established with GM, the UAW-Ford team will seek to shape a contract for 55,000 factory workers. Ford is the largest employer of American hourly employees in the auto industry.