Detroit News: Marick Masters on Ford investments in Ohio
A United Auto Workers vice president blasted Ford Motor Co. for reneging on a commitment to invest a full $900 million in its Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake and for moving production of a new electric vehicle in Mexico. The move comes as the Dearborn automaker continues a reassessment of its operations under CEO Jim Farley since he ascended to the top job last October and after an announcement a month later saying Ford would be building a second, still-unnamed electric vehicle in its Cuautitlan, Mexico, facility that also assembles the new Mustang Mach-E EV. The sharp exchange also reflects comparatively high anxiety in northern Ohio surrounding the future of union-represented auto jobs in the northern tier of the state, Two years ago this month, rival General Motors Co. closed its sprawling Lordstown Assembly plant outside Youngstown, creating a new diaspora of union members to GM facilities across the Midwest. In the 2019 UAW and Ford contract highlights, the union boasted about a $900 million investment coming to Ohio Assembly that included a new product in 2023. Marick Masters, a labor and business professor at Wayne State University, said the union and Ford "will obviously need to sit down and clarify the situation and attempt to negotiate the future investment in this Ohio facility. A critical variable in this discussion will be the extent to which the White House might intervene to protect U.S. jobs."