(NewsSpace.com) – Autoworkers around the United States went on strike for approximately six weeks, hitting the picket lines to secure more pay and better retirement benefits. For a while, it looked like the Big Three—Ford, Stellantis, and GM—were going to continue to hold out, but with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union targeting the bigger factories, the two sides finally came to the negotiating table to reach a tentative agreement at the end of October. Now, they’ve made it official.
For the tentative agreement to take hold, UAW members had to vote on whether to ratify it or continue to hold out for better terms. At Stellantis, 70% of workers voted in favor of the agreement, while 69.3% at Ford did the same. GM had the lowest favorable vote at 54.7%. On Monday, November 20, UAW announced the agreement had been ratified.
The new contract is a record win for the union employees. They will receive an immediate pay increase of 11% and a total increase of 25% of base wages over the length of the deal, which is four-and-a-half years, ending on April 30, 2028. Additionally, they secured the hard-fought reinstatement of the cost of living adjustment (COLA). Temporary workers will see a 150% boost in pay and the opportunity to become permanent workers with added benefits.
The agreement also makes it easy for workers to fast-track to the top pay rates, reaching those figures in three years instead of the previous eight, shaving five years off the time. They will also retain the right to strike and will gain more retirement benefits, including annual bonuses and a significant increase to 401(k) contributions.
While the deal might be done, UAW isn’t. It has fought for decades to unionize the foreign automakers—Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai—which have largely resisted its efforts. Those three companies also noted that they would raise worker wages, following in the footsteps of the Detroit Big Three.
For the automakers, it’s business as usual. Stellantis is already getting back to work on its strategic plan of introducing new electric vehicles in the coming years, while GM’s manufacturing chief, Gerald Johnson, said it plans to enact “aggressive schedules.”
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