The United Auto Workers (UAW) union has reached a tentative agreement on a record contract with Ford after 41 days on strike against Detroit’s Big Three automakers.
"For months we’ve said that record profits mean record contracts, and UAW family, our Stand Up Strike has delivered. What started at three plants at midnight on September 15, has become a national movement,” UAW President Shawn Fain said in a video address.
“We won things nobody thought possible. Since the strike began, Ford put 50% more on the table than when we walked out," Fain said. "This agreement sets us on a new path to make things right at Ford, at the Big Three and across the auto industry. Together, we are turning the tide for the working class in this country.”
The deal comes after what began as a strike on September 15 at three factories of the Big Three — Ford, General Motors (GM) and Stellantis — grew as more union locals at more plants were called on to strike. As of October 19, the strike had affected production of about 43,000 vehicles per week out of the roughly 145,000 that these automakers produce, according to Cox Automotive.
The proposed contract is pending ratification by Ford's union members but those workers can return to work before this.
Once ratified, the workers will receive an immediate 11% wage increase, which amounts to nearly all of their combined wage increases since 2007, the UAW said. It also includes a reinstatement of benefits such as cost-of-living allowances and a three-year wage progression, which were lost during the Great Recession, as well as a right to strike over plant closures.
“We are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract with the UAW covering our U.S. operations,” Ford CEO and President Jim Farley said in a statement. “We are focused on restarting the Kentucky truck plant, Michigan assembly plant and Chicago assembly plant, calling 20,000 Ford employees back to work and shipping our full lineup to our customers again.”
Ongoing strikes at GM and Stellantis
Meanwhile, strikes continue at GM and Stellantis.
On October 24 at GM, 5,000 workers from its Arlington, Texas, assembly plant joined the strike, bringing the total number of Big Three union members on strike at the time to more than 45,000.
That walkout came just one day after 6,800 workers walked out and shut down the Sterling Heights, Michigan, assembly plant of Stellantis, and less than two weeks after 8,700 workers walked out and shut down Ford's Louisville, Kentucky truck plant.
According to the UAW website, strike assistance of $500 per week is available, with a bonus check payable the week prior to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Joey Solitro is a freelance financial journalist at Kiplinger with more than a decade of experience. A longtime equity analyst, Joey has covered a range of industries for media outlets including The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, Market Realist, and TipRanks. Joey holds a bachelor's degree in business administration.
- Esther D’AmicoSenior News Editor
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