Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

The United Auto Workers union has reached a tentative agreement with Ford to end the Stand Up Strike that began on September 15. If a final deal is signed, the strike will end at Ford plants following the automaker’s decision to raise wages 25 percent over the next four years, with an immediate 11 percent raise UAW employees return to work. Announcing the tentative deal, union President Shawn Fain called it a “historic agreement.”

“Our union has united in a way we haven’t seen in years,” said Vice President Chuck Browning. “From the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, our members came together to tell the Big Three, with one voice, that record profits mean a record contract.”

The tentative Ford contract will go till 2027 and adds up to a greater compensation package for UAW members than the past 22 years combined. Within the 25 percent wage increase are starting salaries that go up 68 percent, as well as highest-tier raises that amount to 33 percent. What’s more, over the life of the contract, current temporary employees at Ford will get a 150-percent raise, easing what Browning called temp abuse and exploitation at Big Three facilities.

The compensation package also includes a better cost of living allowance (also known as a COLA) and adds to a pension multiplier, providing more money for current retirees and workers with both pensions and 401k retirement plans.

 

The UAW National Ford Council will go to Detroit on Sunday, October 29, to vote on whether or not to send the tentative agreement to union members. If the Council approves the deal, the UAW will host a Facebook Live event that evening to discuss next steps, including highlight and change pages to the agreement. Then, local UAW leaders will hold informational meetings with members to discuss and ratify the Ford deal, at which point the strike will end at Blue Oval facilities.

If that happens, pressure will likely mount on General Motors and Stellantis to reach a deal with striking workers at their factories. If Ford is able to resume production of profitable models like the Bronco and F-Series Super Duty before their key rivals, GM and Stellantis will be leaving big money on the table. 

The strike began nearly six weeks ago at three facilities – those that build the Bronco, Jeep Wrangler, and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 – before expanding to eight assembly plants and dozens more parts distributors. The most recent additions to the UAW strike were a Stellantis factory in Sterling Heights, Michigan, which produces the Ram 1500, and the GM facility in Arlington, Texas, where the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, and Cadillac Escalade are built.

Other factories affected by the strikes include Ford Chicago Assembly, which builds the Explorer and its Lincoln Aviator cousin, as well as GM’s Lansing Township plant that builds the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave. The UAW action attracted national attention, even prompting United States President Joe Biden to appear on a picket line with striking workers.

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