Tentative deal between Ford and striking UAW

October 26, 2023

Ford Motors and the United Auto Workers (UAW) reached a tentative deal on Wednesday evening, including a record pay raise. 

The deal, if ratified, would end the UAW’s six-week strike against Ford and set the standard for continued negotiations between the union and the other two Big Three automakers: General Motors and Stellantis.

Workers will receive an immediate 11% wage increase upon ratification of the agreement, which also  includes 25% in base wage increases through April 2028. It also adds a more-than 30% raise in the current top wage of $32.32 an hour; the new top wage will exceed $40 an hour.

Further, the starting wage will increase by 68%, to over $28 an hour over the life of the contract, according to the UAW, and the lowest-paid temporary workers would see pay rises of more than 150% over the period.

“We told Ford to pony up and they did,” boasted UAW President Shawn Fain. 

Ford chief executive and president Jim Farley said in a statement, “We are focused on restarting Kentucky Truck Plant, Michigan Assembly Plant and Chicago Assembly Plant, calling 20,000 Ford employees back to work and shipping our full line-up to our customers again.”

The deal also includes improvements for current retirees, workers with pensions and workers who have 401(k) plans. And in a first for the UAW, the Ford deal also includes a right to strike over plant closures.

The strike began at midnight on September 15, targeting a small number of plants from each Big Three company rather than undertaking a nationwide walkout of all union members at the same time. By this past Monday, the number of UAW workers who’d walked off the job had grown to about 40,800.

In September President Biden, who touts himself as the most union-friendly President in U.S. history, became the first President to join UAW members on the picket line, telling the workers that they should be doing as “incredibly well” as the automakers have been.

On Wednesday Biden applauded the UAW’s deal with Ford, saying that it “provides a record raise to auto workers who have sacrificed so much to ensure our iconic Big Three companies can still lead the world in quality and innovation.”

In early October, the UAW announced a deal with General Motors to bring that automaker’s electric vehicle (EV) battery plants under a national master agreement, but sticking points with GM over wages and retirement benefits remained.

Vice President Chuck Browning said Wednesday that striking Ford workers would begin returning to work immediately pending ratification, adding that the move would “keep the pressure on Stellantis and GM. The last thing they want is for Ford to get back to full capacity while they mess around and lag behind.”

PHOTO: UAW President Shawn Fain and VP Chuck Browning announce Ford deal

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