The United Automobile Workers (UAW) struck the Ford Motor Company in the United States at midnight Wednesday (September 6).
Reuther and Ford speak; pickets at Detroit Ford plant.
REUTHER (FIRST) SAYS FORD MANAGEMENT COULD HAVE AVOIDED THE STRIKE IF IT HAD AGREED TO ARBITRATION OF CONTRACT PROPOSALS. FORD SAYS THE STRIKE IS UNNECESSARY AND UNJUSTIFIED. THAT NEGOTIATIONS SHOULD HAVE CONTINUED AND FORD MANAGEMENT WAS MAKING A GENUINE EFFORT TO GIVE UAW WORKERS REASONABLE WAGE AND FRINGE BENEFIT INCREASES. HE SAID FURTHER THAT FORD WAS THE VICTIM OF ARBITRARY ACTION BY A POWERFUL UNION.
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Background: The United Automobile Workers (UAW) struck the Ford Motor Company in the United States at midnight Wednesday (September 6). The strike idled 160,000 workers and shut down plants in 25 states. Union President Walter Reuther blamed the strike on management. Henry Ford II, head of Ford Motor Company, said the union was at fault. Pickets were set up immediately at Ford plants from Boston to Los Angeles, and from Seattle to Florida.
The strike will cost Ford workers 15 million dollars a day and halt daily production of 10,000 Ford trucks and cars. the union says it will stay on strike for a long time if necessary. The UAW has 67 million in strike funds and will pay each worker from 20 dollars to 30 dollars in strike benefits weekly. Many Ford workers may be forced to supplement their income with part-time or fulltime jobs. Ford plants in Canada could also be forced to halt production soon because of shortages of parts made in the United States. All the other United States car companies will continue to operate normally. Mr. Reuther said the UAW and the Ford company were still far from agreement on the amount of wage and fringe benefit increases for workers.