Ford was the first of the Big Three dominoes to fall, after it reached a tentative agreement with UAW negotiators on Oct. 25. Three days later on Oct. 28, the UAW announced reaching a similar deal with Stellantis, the parent company of luxury brands like Chrysler, Jeep and Ram. Finally, on Oct. 30 – the birthday of UAW President Shawn Fain – the union ended six weeks of whirlwind strikes after General Motors caved and agreed to the deal. (Related: United Auto Workers president expands strike to lucrative Ford Kentucky plant following company's refusal to negotiate.)
The deal, which is mostly the same across all three companies, includes a 25 percent increase in base wages for the next four-and-a-half years and cost-of-living adjustments that will put pay increases to over 30 percent by the time the contracts expire on April 30, 2028. Starting wages will be increased by around 68 percent to between $28 to $31 an hour and top wages will increase by more than 30 percent to around $40 or more an hour.
Workers also get increases for their pensions and for the 401(k) plans of those hired after 2007. The union also received hefty raises for temporary workers and agreements to shorten the time it takes for new hires to reach the top of the pay scale to around three years.
At the peak of the strikes, about 46,000 workers were on strike against all three companies, or about one-third of the union's 146,000 members at the Detroit Big Three. Fain threatened to continue expanding the strike to encompass all members until the automakers caved to the union's demands.
If the UAW rank-and-file votes to approve of the tentative agreements, they immediately receive an 11 percent pay increase as part of the promised 25 percent hike over four-and-a-half years.
Perhaps just as important, the UAW was also able to enshrine into the union contracts with the Big Three a right to strike whenever Ford, Stellantis or General Motors decides to close a plant in the United States. UAW officials consider this provision in the new agreement a historic win for the union because it has never in its history been given the right to strike over plant closures.
Fain noted that the agreements are large enough to allow them to begin recruiting new members and organizing new chapters at non-union factories owned by other major auto companies, including Tesla and Toyota.
"One of our biggest goals coming out of this historic contract victory is to organize like we've never organized before," said Fain, who promised to keep expanding the UAW. "When we return to the bargaining table in 2028, it won't be just with the Big Three."
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Watch the video below about the UAW strike update on layoffs and new strike targets.
This video is from the InfoWarSSideBand channel on Brighteon.com.