DETROIT – Ford Motor would close a Michigan engine plant and give full-time workers $9,000 ratification bonuses under a proposed tentative labor deal reached Wednesday night with the United Auto Workers union, according to people familiar with the contract.
The plant slated for closure is the Romeo Engine Plant, which employs about 600 hourly UAW workers, according to two people who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity because the details have not been made public. No layoffs would occur as a result of the closure, according to the people.
Employees who work at the plant would be offered jobs at a transmission plant about 15 miles away from the current facility or a "very good" buyout package equivalent to ones under the union's recent deal with General Motors, according to one person.
If the contract is approved by union leaders and members, the plant would be the fifth facility slated to close as part of the UAW's negotiations with the Big Three Detroit automakers. GM plans to close four facilities, including a large assembly plant in Ohio, as part of its deal. Fiat Chrysler hasn't reached a deal with the UAW yet.
Ford's deal, according to three people with knowledge of the discussions, also includes $9,000 ratification bonuses for full-time workers and $3,500 ratification bonuses for temporary employees.
Two people also confirmed the deal would include similar, if not the same, annual wages and lump-sum payments in GM's contract. That deal included 3% raises or 4% lump-sum bonuses each year of the contract.
The UAW on Wednesday said the deal includes $6 billion in new investments from Ford and the creation or retention of 8,500 U.S. jobs. Other details of the proposed contract were not disclosed.
GM agreed to $11,000 ratification bonuses for most of its roughly 48,000 UAW employees, however, previous contracts have included lower bonuses for Ford and Fiat Chrysler workers.
The Ford contract is likely at least a week or two away from being approved or rejected by rank-and-file union members. It still needs approval from local union leaders who will meet Friday in Detroit to vote on the deal. If the local UAW leaders approve the proposed contract, Ford's roughly 55,000 UAW members must then vote on it.
The UAW, if the deal is ratified, would next turn its attention to Fiat Chrysler, the last of the Detroit automakers the union needs to negotiate with for 2019.