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Unionization: A Study of Ford Motor Company

Autor:   •  February 13, 2013  •  Research Paper  •  770 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,085 Views

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Unionization: A study of Ford Motor Company

Lakeisha Sanders


February 4, 2013

Carol Willett

Unionization: A study of Ford Motor Company

Ford motor company was founded in 1903 by Henry Ford. The company has its headquarters in Michigan, United States of America. It has grown to be one of the profitable companies with total assets totaling to US$178.35 billion (Paterson & Willoughby, 2001). Currently, the company employs close to 163500 people. Its main products are automobiles. These products have gained popularity across the globe. Moreover, its sales have rapidly increased in the past few months.

However, the company has also experienced turbulent times. Specifically, unionization at Ford has not been easy. In the early years of its formation, Ford’s management did not believe in unionization. According to Paterson and Willoughby (2001), they viewed unions as a threat to its survival and interference in the company’s internal affairs (Paterson & Willoughby, 2001). The existing labor unions fought to ensure that employees at Ford were allowed to form their union. The management remained adamant, with Ford threatening to discontinue operations in some selected business segments instead of allowing unionization (Friedman & Meredeen, 1980). Despite these bitter struggles, Ford agreed to cooperate with organized labor unions. The first contract with the United Automobile Workers of America and Congress of Industrial Organizations (UAW-CIO) was signed on June 20, 1941. This was to be a significant event with regard to unionization and employee welfare at Ford. In the recent past, employees have been involved in major decisions (Paterson & Willoughby, 2001).

Ford motor company has experienced many legal challenges; among them is balancing financial performance and employee relations. It has been necessary for the company to lay off some of its employees and close some of its plant. Close to 10,000 employees risk losing their jobs. Naturally, this would lead to a legal dilemma. The company needs to review the most convenient means of reducing costs without unnecessary litigation (Friedman & Meredeen, 1980).

Ford motor company has experienced many changes in its employment practice. However, we have noted more stability in the company because of its involvement in union activities. The employees can now vote for or against corporate actions across the company’s network. Moreover, upon allowing its employees to join the automobile


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