President Biden will visit Illinois this week to celebrate the new tentative agreement reached late last month between the United Auto Workers (UAW) labor union and Big Three Detroit automakers (General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis). President Biden will be joined by UAW President Shawn Fain and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker. Biden was an outspoken supporter of the union throughout its strike against the Big Three automakers.
According to a recent report from Bloomberg, which cites an unnamed person familiar with the matter, President Biden will meet with Fain and Pritzker at an event held close to Stellantis’ reopening Belvidere Assembly Plant, located near the border between Illinois and Wisconsin. In a statement, White House officials said that Biden would deliver remarks “[highlighting] his commitment to delivering for working families and creating good-paying union jobs, as well as the UAW’s historic agreement that includes brining thousands of UAW jobs back to Belvidere and reopening the plant.”
Late last month, the UAW reached a tentative agreement with GM on the 46th day of the union’s strike against the automaker. The contract with GM followed similar contract agreements with Ford and Stellantis. The GM agreement has yet to be ratified by union membership, a process that is expected to take place over the next several weeks.
Details of the contract include substantial wage increases that surpass the total wage increases made over the last 22 years. Temporary workers in 2023 will earn $40 per hour by the end of the contract in four years, while several workers will see an immediate wage increase of up to 89 percent. Production workers will earn a top rate of $42 per hour by 2028 when factoring in cost of living adjustments (COLA), while the starting wage for union workers will be $30 per hour by 2028, a 70-percent increase compared to 2023. The top rate for skilled trades employees will increase 30 percent to $50 per hour.
The union announced its initial strike targets in September following expiration of the previous labor contract. The UAW represents roughly 146,000 workers across all three of the Big Detroit automakers.