A tentative deal between Ford and the United Auto Workers could give temporary workers at the St. Paul Ranger plant the chance to become full-time employees, despite the fact that the plant is slated to close in 2011.
Members have yet to vote on the amended contract.
Jim Eagle, chair of UAW Local 879, which represents workers at the St. Paul factory, said the plant has more than 300 temporary workers who have been wondering if they will get hired at some point.
"Now they're going to have the opportunity to make up their own mind," Eagle said. "If this passes, then they'll get a choice to be hired full-time.
Eagle admits the proposal to make the temporary workers permanent does seem at odds with the plant's planned shutdown. He said he's optimistic that the plant's life will be extended, but so far Ford has not indicated intentions to keep the plant open longer.
The plant manufacturers Ford Ranger pick-up trucks and employs about 760 workers.
Eagle said a vote on the amended contract could be completed by the first week of November.