The Detroit Three have been steadily adding jobs in recent years as the nascent economic recovery has struggled to gain a foothold.
Now, with negotiations underway with the United Auto Workers for a new four-year contract, reports have surfaced that Ford Motor is seeking to add up to 10,000 jobs in the U.S., in an effort to seal a deal.
Talk of increasing the number of American jobs is part of high-level discussions between Ford management and union President Bob King, which include wages, benefits and employment gains, Bloomberg reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
Tony Vultaggio, a member of the UAW's bargaining committee, told members Wednesday that a deal could be reached as soon as Thursday, the Detroit Free Press reports. "There have also been numbers tossed around with regards to compensation and job security," Vultaggio said in the message. "In both instances, they are just that, speculative."
The newspaper notes, however, that a decision to move Fusion production to the U.S. would coincide with the introduction of the European version of the car, known as the Mondeo.
In Thailand on Thursday, Ford CEO Alan Mulally reconfirmed Ford's plans to add 7,000 U.S. jobs by the end of 2012, including 750 salaried workers, The Detroit News reports, adding that Ford and the union are close to reaching a pact.
Ford's 41,000 hourly workers are demanding a better deal than the one recently struck between the union and crosstown-rival General Motors since Ford avoided the government-back bankruptcy that both GM and Chrysler succumbed to in 2009.
GM's 48,500 hourly employees stand to get at least $12,500 in bonuses and profit sharing in the pact ratified this week, the News notes.
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