Ford and the United Auto Workers (UAW) labor union have reached a tentative agreement six weeks after the union called for walkouts at each of the Big Three Detroit automakers (GM, Ford, and Stellantis). The new agreement includes a 25-percent wage increase over the next four years, as well as several other major wins for UAW members. The union continues to strike at GM and Stellantis as negotiations continue with both automakers.
“We won things nobody thought possible,” said UAW President Shawn Fain. “Since the strike began, Ford put 50 percent more on the table than when we walked out. This agreement sets us on a new path to make things right at Ford, at the Big Three, and across the auto industry.”
“Between wage increases, COLA [Cost of Living Allowance], annual bonuses to retirees, and other economic gains, there is more value for our members in each individual year of this agreement than the entirety of the 2019 agreement,” said UAW Vice President Chuck Browning. “This deal puts more money on the table than the 2019 agreement four times over.”
In addition to a 25-percent increase in base wages, the new tentative agreement also includes a cumulative raise to the top wage by more than 30 percent to over $40 per hour, a 68-percent starting wage increase to more than $28 per hour, deletion of the wage tiers, the right to strike over plant closures, and more.
With the tentative agreement with Ford now reached, the UAW National Ford Council will vote on whether to send the agreement to membership, after which the agreement will be publicly reviewed, regional meetings will be held to walk through the agreement with local leaders, and finally, a ratification vote will be held among the membership.
“We are focused on restarting 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,” Ford said following announcement of the new tentative agreement.
Meanwhile, the UAW continues its strike at various GM and Stellantis facilities. GM estimates that the strike has cost the company $800 million so far.