UAW Reach Tentative Deal With Ford’s In Big 3 Dispute

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union say they have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract with Ford’s –  the first of Detroit’s Big Three car manufacturers to negotiate a settlement to strikes joined by 45,000 workers since mid-September.

The proposed accord, which the UAW’s leadership must still approve, provides a 25% wage  increase over the 4-1/2-year contract, starting with an initial increase of 11%.

The Ford deal, which could help create a template for settlements of parallel UAW strikes against General Motors and Stellantis would amount to total pay increases of more than 33% when compounding and cost-of-living mechanisms are factored in, the UAW said.

“We told Ford to pony up and they did,” said UW President Shawn Fain  in a video post on Facebook, adding that the strike at Ford “has delivered”.

In addition to the general wage increase Fain said the lowest-paid temporary workers would see raises of more than 150% over the contract term and employees would reach top pay after three years. The union also won the right to strike over future plant closures, he said.

The UAW also succeeded in eliminating lower-pay tiers for workers in certain parts operations at Ford – an issue Fain highlighted from the start of the bargaining process, wearing T-shirts with the slogan “End Tiers.”

The Ford contract would reverse concessions the union agreed to in a series of contracts since 2007, when GM and the former Chrysler were skidding toward bankruptcy, and Ford was mortgaging assets to stay afloat.

“We know it breaks records,” Fain said in a video address  “We know it will change lives. But what happens next is up to you all.”

Ford said it was “pleased” to have reached the deal and was focused on restarting its plants in Kentucky, Michigan and Illinois that were shut down after workers walked off the job.

16,600 Ford workers on strike will return to work in advance of the vote by membership. 29,000 workers at Stellantis and General Motors will remain on strike.

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