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Sun, 24 Aug 2014 08:57:00 EST
Let's start with some history: Ford's Dearborn truck plant, part of the company's massive River Rouge complex, was the center of a strike in 1941 that led to Ford signing the first "closed shop" agreement in the industry. The agreement obliged every worker at the plant to be a dues-paying member of the United Auto Workers. In December 2012, however, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation making Michigan a right-to-work state, which outlawed closed shops. The new law gave workers the right to opt out of union membership and stop paying dues even if they were still covered by union activities like collective bargaining. For employees at the Dearborn plant, the right-to-work clauses take effect at the end of their current contract in 2015.
Thu, 24 Jan 2013 17:15:00 EST
As a tool-and-die maker at Ford's Dearborn plant for 16 years, Todd Lemire pays dues to the UAW - about two hours' salary per month. However, he's been unhappy with the UAW's support of the Democratic party, and not wanting to wait until next year to be out of the UAW entirely he invoked his Beck Rights, which state that a non-member of a union does not have to pay dues to support non-core activities, such as political spending. But Lemire wasn't happy that Ford still subtracted the total amount of dues, with the UAW reimbursing the difference, so he filed suit with the National Labor Relations Board, feeling that the workaround violates his rights.
Lemire's case is just a week old, so it could be a while before a resolution. Yet, as September 15, 2015 draws near and the right-to-work laws take full effect for Michigan workers - and others wonder whether it could help revitalize the state's manufacturing base - a case like this adds more fuel to the discussion.
The imposing commercial truck above has a feature that might be surprising to most Autoblog readers - a Blue Oval emblem on the front. Here in North America, Ford simply doesn't play in the eighteen-wheeler sandbox, but that doesn't mean that the Dearborn-based automaker is absent in the heavy hauling space in other parts of the globe. In fact, Ford presently fields two completely different big rig ranges under the Cargo moniker - one a product of an Eastern Europe/Turkey joint venture, and another from Brazil. But that's about to start changing with the advent of this new cab-over model seen here.
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:00:00 EST
Unveiled in São Paulo, Brazil, this new generation of Cargo is perhaps the largest physical embodiment of CEO Alan Mulally's "One Ford" global streamlining strategy. Instead of multiple models, company engineers have developed a new single truck that it says will better meet the needs of truckers in all markets. Designed to compete in what's known as the "extra heavy-duty segment" elsewhere in the world, this Cargo was developed jointly by Ford engineering teams in Brazil, Turkey and Europe.
Specifics remain hard to come by (read: unreleased), but Ford is promising an all-new engine enabling hauling capability of up to 56 tons while still returning excellent fuel economy. Ford's global Cargo lineup will henceforth consist of a dozen models, but Ford tells Autoblog has no plans to bring this hot and heavy-duty action to North America.
Seven-figure Ferraris are not horribly rare. Heck, an eight-figure Ferrari isn't a rare occurrence. Between modern masterpieces like the Enzo and more classic offerings, cracking the million-dollar mark isn't a particularly tall order for the cars from Maranello. For a Ford, though, it's a big deal.
Now, this is not just some rare Mustang. This is a GT40, the car that Henry Ford II commissioned to whip Enzo Ferrari around a track in France. As far as the Le Mans-winning racers go, they don't get much rarer than this one. Sold at the Mecum Auctions in Houston, this is one of the prototypes, meaning it's one of the very first GT40s ever built. That makes its $7 million winning a bid, a record for on-air coverage of the auction, a pretty darn impressive figure.
You can watch the auction below, but first, take a look back at our original story on this rare Blue Oval.