Right Hooks

Ford Moves Jobs South of the Border

It's what Big Labor ensured will come off the assembly line.

Nate Jackson · Apr. 6, 2016

Ford announced this week that it’s investing $1.6 billion in a new factory to build small cars. In Mexico. And then export them to the U.S. Obviously, the timing of the announcement — during a presidential election featuring a lot of anger over trade and manufacturing jobs moving elsewhere — couldn’t have been worse. While it’s outrageous that Ford took a $5.9 billion federal loan to build small cars in Michigan only to move that production to Mexico, a significant portion of blame isn’t Ford’s or that of any trade agreement. It’s what Big Labor has ensured will come off the assembly line.

Forbes contributor Dale Buss explains, “UAW leadership knew very well that the extra financial padding they reached for with their intransigence in contract bargaining last fall was going to reach back and slap them in the keister. That’s because Detroit Three executives communicated very plainly that it would, and because the union nearly explicitly agreed during that season to sacrifice thousands of jobs making small cars in exchange for short-term financial gain and for the guarantee that UAW members would be able to continue making all the high-profit, hot-selling trucks and SUVs that General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler can sell while the good times continue rolling in the American auto market.”

Look for presidential candidates of both parties — particularly Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump — to make hay of this decision, and not without reason. Indeed, Trump already called it an “absolute disgrace” and promised, “These ridiculous, job-crushing transactions will not happen when I am president.” It would certainly be interesting if he ended up pulling a substantial number of UAW votes his way. After all, union bosses are doing their best for Hillary Clinton while sacrificing the people they’re supposed to represent.

(Edited.)

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