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‘Everything is on the table’: Group of Louisville Ford union workers travel to Detroit to support strike

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — More than 11,000 unionized Louisville Ford workers are prepared to attack if and when they receive the call.

For now, a small group of them hit the road Friday to support the pickets in downtown Detroit, 30 minutes from the only Ford manufacturing plant that has struck so far.

Louisville’s UAW chapter, Local 862, told WHAS11 that 52 of its employees arrived by bus to Detroit for a 5 p.m. rally.

Local 862 President Todd Dunn said it is important to walk in solidarity with those fighting for the same goal, after Thursday’s midnight deadline expired.

But the question for many in Louisville: Will either of Ford’s two major manufacturing plants, the Louisville Assembly Plant (LAP) and the Kentucky Truck Plant (KTP), soon follow suit?

“I think it’s possible, but I have no idea if it will be or not; I haven’t been told one way or the other,” Dunn said. “I haven’t been told it’s an option because everything is an option. Everything is on the table.”

Dunn told WHAS11 News the point is for the UAW to maintain its influence, and to do that, they want to keep the auto giant guessing about its next location.

“If Ford Motor Company could come to the table to come to a reasonable point on what we’re trying to accomplish for members, I think we could turn this around in days, in a matter of three or four days.” Dunn said.

Dunn said he is “hopeful” the strike will be short-lived, but believes it took “a little while for the company to take things seriously.”

He went on to say that “their complacency has gotten them to where they are today.”

Dunn said that ultimately, salaries remain one of the big sticking points. He said that if the UAW called either of Louisville’s two factories to strike in the coming days, they would be “1,000% prepared.”

“It will be very precise, very direct and respectful. Yes, we are ready and ready to go,” he said.

According to Local 862, business operations at both Ford plants in Louisville will proceed as normal until otherwise advised.

The issue of strike pay continues to receive a lot of attention, as there is a limited amount available in the international fund for all UAW workers. If union workers in Louisville picketed, they would be paid $500 a week, per person, for the duration of the strike.

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