Although their new labor agreements passed by the slimmest of margins, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. both managed to avoid a strike. Now, the local economy will begin to feel the impact of negotiated raises, bonus money and other investments.
Ratification of the two labor contracts will have a large and immediate effect on the Kansas City economy. Within the next two weeks the 7,500 workers at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo and the 3,500 workers at the General Motors Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kan., will get signing bonus checks worth a total of about $92 million. In addition, each Ford worker will get a second check worth $1,500 sometime before the Christmas holiday in a 2015 profit-sharing prepayment, which will generate an additional $11.25 million for the local economy.
The labor deals will also have an ongoing effect as workers receive annual raises and profit-sharing checks during the next four years. Ford also promised to invest $200 million in upgrades, retooling and training at the local assembly plant.