July 24, 2012

by Gary Walkowicz

It’s outrageous that the arbitrator could rule against us in the Equity of Sacrifice grievance.

In the February, 2009 contract modifications, the highlights talked about Equity of Sacrifice and referred to sacrifices by all Ford stakeholders “including executives, directors, management and salaried personnel”.

So where was the Equity of Sacrifice? We know what we gave up, what did they give up? Not only did the the salaried workers get their raises back, the executives got their million dollar bonuses. Did Alan Mulally sacrifice like we did? If he got his money, where is ours?

The arbitrators’ blatantly unfair decision is like one more concession, taking money away from us.

Many people were skeptical that we would get anything out of this grievance. But our top union leadership told us to wait for this grievance to get settled. And after we waited almost 3 years – we get NOTHING.

This is same union leadership who pushed us to give up concessions over and over again. They told us that we would get things back when times got better. We waited for the 2011 contract when Ford was making record profits -- and we didn’t get back ANY of the concessions. The union leaderships’ policy of giving up concessions and then hoping the company gives back to us does not work.

History has proved over and over again that workers never gain anything without a fight. If we wait for the companies to give us something, we will be waiting forever. There is no way around that.

Ford workers proved that in 2009 when we voted No. Because of that No vote, Ford had to give us more upfront money in the 2011 contract than what GM and Chrysler workers got. It was not nearly what we deserved, but it’s more than we would have gotten if we had voted Yes in 2009.

In the 2015 contract, or maybe sooner, we will be faced with a situation again concerning our future and we will to have decide what to do. Let’s not forget about the arbitrator’s decision; let’s not forget all the promises we have been made; let’s not forget all the lies we have been told. And let’s not forget that the one time we fought, in 2009, was the one time we got something.

Gary Walkowicz
Bargaining Committeeman, Dearborn Truck Plant, Local 600

(313) 737-3166


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