In rare move, Ford executive chair calls on UAW to make a deal and end ‘acrimonious’ talks

Ford executive chairman Bill Ford is calling on the United Auto Workers union to make a deal and end the “acrimonious” contract negotiations that have dragged on for nearly two months.

In an open letter to the union released Wednesday, Ford, who is also the great-grandson of the company’s founder, argued that if the union settles quickly it could help both sides to move forward.

“It is time to resolve the remaining issues quickly and move forward together,” Ford said. “Nobody benefits from this acrimonious situation — least of all our employees and customers.”

Ford called on the UAW to return to the bargaining table and accept a labor contract that “addresses and equitably addresses the needs of all of our stakeholders.”

The union has been engaged in a lengthy and contentious negotiation process with the company over wages and other key issues. Workers have been without a contract since Oct. 15, when UAW members overwhelmingly rejected the company’s final offer.

The union is now pushing for better healthcare benefits, job security and other issues before it will accept a new deal. Ford’s letter could be seen as an attempt to put pressure on the union to settle quickly.

“There is no reason why we can’t come to a new agreement that is good for our teams, customers and communities,” Ford said. “I remain optimistic that, working together, we can reach a deal which is fair for all.”