Members of the United Auto Workers union (UAW) have ratified the tentative deals with GM, Ford and Stellantis following weeks of strikes against the Detroit ‘Big Three’.
The UAW said that 64% of workers at the three automakers voted in favour of ratifying the deals. The new contracts will run through April 2028 and include a 25% increase in base wages and cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) payments.
“After years of cutbacks, months of our Stand Up campaign and weeks on the picket line, we have turned the tide for the American autoworker,” said Shawn Fain, president, UAW.
While the ratifications will ease tensions in the manufacturing and supply chain, the three OEMs and their suppliers will now be under pressure to get their facilities back up and running. In fact, the impact of the recent strikes could already have left suppliers at financial risk, according to supply chain and manufacturing legal expert Linda M. Watson, Attorney at Law at Clark Hill. “Some suppliers may already be facing financial problems, and their banks and financers will be asking if and when they’ll be back at full volume and putting the pressure on,” Watson said.
Meanwhile, read on to find out more details of the ratified deals below.
At GM, the new contract will mean the lowest-paid hourly union workers will see a 158% raise throughout the life of the contract. With COLA payments, by 2028 there will be a top rate of over $42 an hour for production, and over $30 for skilled trades.
On top of this, the union secured increased retirement security, with a 73% to 146% increase in annual company contribution to 401(k) accounts by the end of the agreement.
In response to the deal, Mary Barra, CEO and chair, GM said: “We are pleased our team members have ratified the new agreement that rewards our employees, protects the future of the business and allows us to continue to provide good jobs in communities across the US. We can now move forward as one team doing what we do best – delivering great products for our customers and winning together.”
The agreement reached with Ford includes a 150% raise through the term of the contract for the lowest-paid members, with temporary hourly staff hired this year at $16.67 now set to earn over $40 per hour by 2028.
Lower-tiered members at Sterling Axle and Rawsonville facilities will see immediate raises ranging from 53% to 88%. A member with three years seniority at those facilities will, upon ratification, go from $18.96 to $35.58.
A major part of the deal included an $8.1 billion investment into the OEM’s plants by the end of the agreement, particularly to help the transition to EVs.
A statement from Jim Farley, president and CEO, Ford after the ratification said the carmaker is now focused on “getting back to work as one Ford team”. He said: “Thankfully, we are on track to reach full production schedules in the coming days at our assembly plants in Michigan, Kentucky and Illinois that were affected during the strike.”
Finally, Stellantis and the UAW reached a deal that will see the union’s lowest-paid members gain a 168% raise through the agreement.
With COLA, by 2028, the Stellantis workers will have a top rate of over $42 an hour for production and over $50 for skilled trades, an over 30% raise. By the end of this agreement, the starting full-time rate will be over $30 an hour, nearly a 70% bump from today.
Mark Stewart, chief operating officer, Stellantis North America said: “With negotiations now officially behind us, we will focus our full attention on executing our Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan and serving our customers by delivering the high-quality products and technologies they want and expect, especially as we prepare to launch eight all-new electric vehicles in the U.S. market in 2024.”