While the UAW says it wants pensions restored, Ford CFO John Lawler said that for Ford's unionized workers, it's not going to happen.
"So when you look at the defined benefit plan they're asking for, you know, that's a plan of the past. Only 12% or so of Fortune 500 companies offer that today. What we're offering is a defined contribution plan where we contribute," Lawler said on a livestreamed negotiations update.
Defined benefit plans are more popularly known as pensions; defined contribution plans, in contrast, include things like 401(k)s.
Battery plants become a sticking point in Ford negotiations
Ford announced earlier this week that it was pausing work on a Michigan battery plant in which the automaker plans to invest $3.5 billion. Work will eventually resume work on that plant, Ford CEO Jim Farley said today, and it will make batteries for electric vehicles.
Ford needs to decide, though, how big that plant will ultimately be, something that depends on several factors. One of those factors is the outcome of these UAW labor negotiations, which will partly determine what sorts of vehicles Ford will produce that will use the batteries the factory makes.
Another factory is the final wording of Inflation Reduction Act rules that determine the amount of tax credits consumers will get when purchasing electric vehicles. In general, those rules favor vehicles with batteries manufactured in the US, but there are still techincal points to be worked out.