In a significant development, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union and Ford Motor have come to a tentative agreement, putting an end to the nearly six-week-long strike that has disrupted the automaker’s operations. The union made this announcement on Wednesday night.
As reported earlier by CNBC, the tentative agreement boasts substantial benefits for Ford’s workers. Notably, it includes a remarkable 25% pay increase over the course of the agreement, resulting in a cumulative top wage exceeding $40 per hour. Additionally, starting wages will see a substantial 68% increase, reaching over $28 per hour.
The agreement also addresses key concerns by reinstating cost-of-living adjustments, establishing a three-year path to attain top wages, and securing the right to strike in the event of plant closures, among other significantly improved benefits.
UAW President Shawn Fain expressed satisfaction with the outcome, stating, “We told Ford to step up, and they did. We have achieved victories that many believed were beyond reach.” He further emphasized that Ford’s offer had increased in value by 50% since the start of the targeted strikes on September 15.
However, it’s important to note that the tentative deal still requires approval from local UAW leaders and subsequent ratification by a simple majority of Ford’s 57,000 union-represented employees. The union has plans to hold informational meetings and an online briefing to discuss the specifics of the agreement, which will be made available online along with summaries.
Autoworkers who are currently participating in the strike with Ford will return to work while the approval and voting process takes place. UAW Vice President Chuck Browning explained during a video statement with Fain that this move is strategic to secure the best possible deal. He added, “We’re returning to work at Ford to maintain pressure on Stellantis and GM. Their last wish is to see Ford return to full capacity while they face delays and lag behind.”