Bill Ford: Labor unions saved Ford in our ‘darkest’ hour

Well this is an inconvenient truth for all those union-haters out there.

Though they are sometimes blamed for the financial woes at other car companies, labor unions actually helped “save” Ford Motor as competitors such as General Motors went bankrupt, Bill Ford told CNBC on Thursday.

Ford, the executive chairman of the Detroit automaker, said in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that former UAW President Ron Gettelfinger doesn’t get enough credit for helping to shore up the books during Ford’s “darkest hour.”

“When we got into a really tough period, I sat down with Ron and I said, ‘You have to help me save the Ford Motor Company so we didn’t have to go through bankruptcy, so we didn’t have to get a federal bailout,'” Ford said. “And he did that.”

Ford credited the union with helping his company regain a foothold in the North American market. He added that the UAW helped the entire industry “get back on its feet.”

This kinda flies in the face of the popular conservative talking point that unions are just plain bad for American business.


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9 thoughts on “Bill Ford: Labor unions saved Ford in our ‘darkest’ hour

  1. Nice anecdote. If true, it is a nice story, but not the typical response from unions. By the way, for the record, I am not a union hater and certainly don’t hate individual union members. I do hate coercion and thug tactics which unfortunately are routinely used by unions.

  2. Denis: PLEASE stop with the”thug tactics” meme. You sound like someone who’s been watching too many 1950″s movies. Here in Tennessee it was the Repub governor and politicians that used THOSE methods as well as outright lies. AND…..the employees are having their say anyway. There is DEFINITELY a place in today’s workplace for worker protections: just look at what is happening all over this country, thanks to the Right Wing Race to the Bottom, taking every cent they can for profits while doing less and less for those that are actually MAKING the company.

    1. judi,

      you are addressing the person commenting here who is thrilled over no equal pay for women rules, no plans for raising minimum wage and who is completely against any living wage concepts. Apparently is also upset with any talk of humanitarian fair trade rules being employed, even voluntarily.

      This is a retailer who has demonstrated in the comments that he has failed completely to connect that more dollars in the hands of lower tier workers translates into immediate growth of consumer activity that he would likely even benefit from. That is except from buyers who do check on things like “fair trade,” products being offered when making their spending choices. We can accurately know from his comments, fair trade is of no importance to him.

    2. Judy I will stop using the thug “meme” when they stop using thug tactics. I have personally experienced threats to my business and property, even recently here on this blog. And of course I have witnessed many disgraceful acts by unions and or those who support them, many right here in Wisconsin over the Act 10 legislation. So no, I won’t stop, but I thank you for your polite request.

      1. “. . . threats to my business and property, . . .”

        What exactly is your “business,” Mr. Halpert? And how is your property being threatened? Is the International Brotherhood of Right Wing Internet Trolls sending “thugs” out to your house to trash your office and computer? Because you refuse to pay dues to the organization?

        1. OT for unions (but possiblity for GOP slant to a union of bloggers trolls.)


          Check out the link to infrequent commenter NEMO, operates an ISP out of northern WI.

 > sites of interest> blogs.

          And if you see it before it is changed, knotlaneblog, freeracine and blogging blue.

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