UAW reaches tentative labor agreement with Ford, ending partial strike

The United Auto Workers reached a tentative contract agreement with Ford on Wednesday evening that could be critical to ending the union. Six weeks of strikes Against Detroit’s big three automakers.

“Today we reached a tentative agreement with Ford,” said UAW President Shawn Fine In a video posted on social media, while Ford confirmed the deal in its own statement.

“We are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement on a new labor agreement with the UAW that covers our U.S. operations,” said Ford CEO and President Jim Farley.

The deal still needs to be ratified by Ford’s roughly 57,000 UAW workers.

“I commend the UAW and Ford for their hard-fought, good-faith negotiations and reaching a historic tentative agreement tonight,” President Biden said in a statement. “This tentative agreement is a testament to employers and employees working together to negotiate their differences.”

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer congratulated the union and Ford on reaching the agreement, saying she hopes “this momentum will help the UAW and the rest of the organizations reach an agreement so Michiganders can get back to doing what they do best.”

By contracting with Ford, the UAW could use that to create similar contract settlements with GM and Stellantis. Typically, during past auto strikes, the UAW contract with one automaker led other companies to match their own settlements.

“The UAW’s big win against Ford represents a serious improvement in workers’ bargaining power, including an 11% wage increase in the first year of the deal and other gains in pensions and job security if the deal is ratified,” said Tan Kai Hsian. , US analyst at Kavegal Research, said in a statement. “Typically, a deal with one automaker leads others to follow suit.”

What’s in the contract?

UAW Vice President Chuck Browning said the deal includes a 25% general wage increase over the course of the four-year contract. This is 2% more than Ford’s previous offer. Top earners will also now make $40 an hour, Browning said, and the deal comes with an immediate 11% pay raise for all union members.

“UAW members at Ford will receive larger and more direct general wage increases in the next four and a half years than we have in the last 22 years,” Browning said.

Temporary workers will receive pay raises of more than 150% over the life of the contract, while the union also won the right to strike over plant closings, Browning said.

“That means they can’t destroy our communities and shut down factories without consequences,” he said.

The tentative agreement improves retirement benefits for current retirees, workers with pensions and 401(k) plans, Browning said.

What happens next?

Browning called on all Ford union members to go to work and said they would “receive additional instructions on the return-to-work process.” He called it “a strategic move to get a better deal,” saying it would keep pressure on Stellandis and GM.

Fine said the union’s national council will vote on Ford on Sunday. If the deal is approved, more details about the deal will be announced on Facebook Live that night. The union will hold informational meetings at the regional and local levels before the Ford membership vote, Browning said.

What are the consequences of a strike?

The tentative deal comes two weeks after 8,700 union members He quit his job at Ford’s biggest factory In Kentucky. The factory in Louisville produces heavy-duty F-Series pickup trucks and large Ford and Lincoln SUVs.

Ford has laid off 3,167 workers as part of a strike that began last month. It is not known if those employees will return to work immediately.

“We are focused on restarting the Kentucky Truck Plant, Michigan Assembly Plant and Chicago Assembly Plant, bringing 20,000 Ford employees back to work and reshipping our entire lineup to our customers,” Farley said.

Both GM and Stellantis said they were working with the union to reach agreements soon, following news of a tentative deal with Ford.

Earlier this month, Ford Chairman Bill Ford Called the union The company, which his grandfather started in 1903, argued that it was not an enemy of UAW members and ended its strike.

The UAW strike When did it start? Thousands of workers walked off their posts after the contract with the automakers expired on September 14. Since then, automakers have laid off thousands of workers and blamed their moves on the prolonged strike. There is GM laid out About 2,350 workers in Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, New York and Ohio are out of a job as a result of the strike, the company said.

Stellarndis — the parent company of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram — has laid off about 1,520 workers across Indiana, Michigan and Ohio because of the strike.

on Monday, About 6,800 employees Stellandis walked off the job at the automaker’s largest plant in suburban Detroit, while about 5,000 GM workers in Texas walked off the job Tuesday.

Chris Van Cleave contributed to this report.

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