Representatives from Ford Motor Company and the United Auto Workers (UAW) have struck an initial deal that could mark the end of the ongoing strike at various car and truck manufacturing plants. While the deal does not end strikes at General Motors (GM) and Stellantis (formerly Chrysler), it is a sign that the current conflict could be cooling.
The UAW said that the company and union agreed on basic terms that would see a 25% increase in base pay for nearly five years and would increase the top wage package by more than 30%.
First-time employees will see their wages increase by more than two-thirds, entering the field at more than $28 per hour. Some employees will see their wages more than double during the term of the agreement.
UAW President Shawn Fain said that Ford had “put 50% 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. Together, we are turning the tide for the working class in this country.”
Union officials argued that the wage increases were necessary, citing lower wages resulting from the 2008 market crash and recession.
— New York Post (@nypost) October 26, 2023
Furthermore, the UAW secured a tentative agreement allowing its members to strike should Ford close a manufacturing plant in the United States. Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford had recently said that a “strong manufacturing base is critical to our national security. Building things in America matters now more than ever, especially in these uncertain times. We cannot take that for granted.”
He further said that “Ford is the strongest partner the UAW has ever known.”
Despite the tentative agreement with Ford, the UAW’s strike against Stellantis and GM continues. Both large auto manufacturers recently announced layoffs as the work stoppage continued.
The news came as the UAW announced an expansion of its strike against GM Tuesday, which affected a plant in Texas. A similar announcement shuttered a Stellantis factory in Michigan.
Prior to the announcement with Ford, about 45,000 members of the UAW were on strike.
Stellantis raised the number of total layoffs to more than 2,000, while GM announced 139 more layoffs in Ohio. Overall, General Motors laid off more than 2,600 workers since the strike began.