UAW workers at Ford's Kentucky truck plant threaten strike next Friday

Ford Super Duty trucks are seen at the Kentucky Truck assembly plant in Louisville

(Reuters) -Nearly 9,000 United Auto Workers union members at Ford's biggest and most profitable truck plant in Kentucky will go on strike next Friday if local contract issues are not resolved, the union said, sending the company's shares down 1.2%.

The contract talks are separate from the agreements the Detroit Three automakers - Ford, General Motors and Stellantis - agreed with United Auto Workers (UAW) last year that will deliver record wage hikes to about 150,000 members.

In addition to UAW's national contracts, members negotiate local agreements around plant-specific issues at each facility.

The core issues at the Kentucky plant's local negotiations are health and safety, including minimum in-plant nurse staffing levels, according to the union.

Another issue, the UAW said, is "Ford's continued attempts to erode the skilled trades at Kentucky Truck Plant."

Ford has proposed that skilled trades maintenance workers perform multiple tasks across different types of work. The UAW has resisted as a threat to jobs, people familiar with the bargaining said.

"Negotiations continue and we look forward to reaching an agreement with UAW Local 862 at Kentucky Truck Plant," Ford said in a statement.

The company's Kentucky truck plant generates $25 billion in annual revenue, about a sixth of the company's global automotive revenue.

The latest strike warning comes as U.S. labor unions, buoyed by worker shortage and favorable public opinion, press for better wages and working conditions to claw back concessions made during the pandemic.

(Reporting by Kannaki Deka in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Shounak Dasgupta)