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UGT reaches an agreement with the European management of Ford so that Almussafes opts for the electric car

A Ford employee during his working day at the Almussafes plant.
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UGT, the majority union at the Ford Almussafes factory in Valencia, has announced an agreement with the management of the multinational in Europe, based in Cologne (Germany), to aspire to manufacture the firm's electric models and ensure the workload for the next few years, as announced by the organization through a social network. Ford's European management will transfer the agreement to Detroit, headquarters of the multinational, so that it can make a decision on whether the new electric models will be produced in the Valencian factory or in the German factory in Saarlouis.

The union organization, which met this Thursday in Cologne with the European management of Ford, has advanced through a tweet an agreement after nine o'clock at night after “intense meetings”. This agreement, the content of which has not been made public, culminates the multiple meetings held by the unions and the management of the Spanish factory without reaching an agreement.

The management of the company in Almussafes insisted that the workers should ensure the competitiveness of the factory with a 10% drop in wages, a reduction in vacations by one week and an extension of 30 minutes each work shift. Both UGT and the rest of the unions with representation in the factory, which employs more than 6,000 workers, were “far” from assuming these measures.

UGT representatives announced on Tuesday that their request to meet with the European management had been granted and they traveled to Colonia to defend the competitiveness and work of the Almussafes factory with a different proposal under their arms than the measures proposed up to that moment by the company.

The union offered a four or five year agreement in which it was willing to a “wage containment”, as long as the path of the IPC recovers later; also to flexibility measures conditioned to the award of future electric vehicles, which would not come into force until 2025, and progress in the flexibility of the working day. The union has indicated that it will report the details of the agreement shortly.

The agreement is reached shortly before the expiration of the term that The multinational gave and after the head of the Consell, Ximo Puig, has stressed today that the Valencian Generalitat “has made and will make all the necessary efforts” so that Ford remains in Almussafes. As stated, the proposal of the Valencian plant is “solvent to maintain jobs and the permanence of the company in the Valencian Community”.

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The suppliers of the automobile sector of the Valencian Community, linked to the multinational wing of the oval, have received with optimism the news that the negotiation was closed with a positive agreement. This pact, in which the auxiliary industry has no capacity to interfere, allows the Almussafes factory to stay in the running after the multinational's restructuring plan.

According to the president of the Valencian Association of the Automotive Industry (AVIA), Mónica Alegre, “we were very expectant and which has been an exercise of responsibility and generosity on all sides” “The future of the sector will depend on the decision made in the coming months at the headquarters of the multinational. This agreement is, at least, an advantage on the starting grid”.

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