Workers like Christopher brown are relieved. "I think it's a good idea that they did. I mean I don't want to be off work at all," he says.
The labor agreement came 13 hours after Friday's midnight deadline. It was a lag that gave workers at some plants a chance to walk out, at least temporarily.
"Ford motor company can be pretty greedy when they want to be. They have around $16 billion in their account and I feel like the workers deserve some of that money," says UAW member Willis Courtoise.
They apparently got it. The pact reportedly mirrors those negotiated earlier with general motors and Damlier-Chrysler. Those deals are said to include annual raises of 3-percent and a signing bonus for hourly workers.
But money may not have been the major hang-up. In an attempt to save jobs, the union wanted to derail Ford's plan to spin off its parts division.
"It simply doesn't have the time, the management or the money to compete for both car customers and make the best parts in the world," says industry analyst John Casesa.
Including the Ford deal, about 375,000 autoworkers will now get annual raises over each of the next three years. But Casesa says it won't break the bank or have much of an effect on the economy. "I don't think this agreement with the UAW is expensive enough to rekindle inflation in the U.S.," he says.
While the Ford contract talks went down to the wire, few people predicted a lengthy strike. The reason, one industry insider says, is that times are just too good for either side to want to go to war.