UAW to take up talks with Ford after contract extension with Chrysler

The United Auto Workers plans  negotiations with Ford Motor Co after extending its contract with Chrysler Group LLC.

The union would ''focus its attention on Ford'' even as it continued negotiations with Chrysler, according to Michele Martin, a spokeswoman for the Detroit-based UAW, in an e- mailed statement.

She added that the union, after reaching a tentative agreement on 16 September with General Motors Co, would not comment further.

According to UAW president Bob King, 65, a pay package Ford awarded to chief executive officer Alan Mulally, 66, earlier this year made it more difficult to get member support for a deal with the automaker. Ford has said its hourly labour costs were higher than those of GM and Chrysler.

According to Robert W Clark, a former Ford labour negotiator and president of RWC Consulting LLC, the disgreement had the potential for a conflict. He added there was nothing in it for Ford to get their costs pushed further out of line with competitors, and nothing in it for the UAW to take them to brink.

He said the old notion of brinkmanship did not seem to make much sense in this case.