Oct. 25, 2023
United Auto Workers union President Shawn Fain confirms that they have reached a tentative agreement with Ford on Wednesday.
This comes after reports of the agreement after nearly six weeks on strike against Detroit’s Big Three automakers. Wednesday marked 41 days since the strike began, making it the longest American auto strike in 25 years.
In a video, Fain calls the agreement a “major victory.”
“Ford knew what was coming for them on Wednesday if we didn’t get a deal,” he said. “On Day 40, we reached a historic agreement.”
Ford issued the following statement on the agreement:
“We are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract with the UAW covering our U.S. operations. Ford is proud to assemble the most vehicles in America and employ the most hourly autoworkers. 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 lineup to our customers again. The agreement is subject to ratification by Ford’s UAW-represented employees. Consistent with the ratification process, the UAW will share details with its membership.”
General Motors and Stellantis said they are still working with the UAW to also reach a tentative agreement.
What is included in the agreement?
The agreement includes wage increases of 25%, up from the initial 23% increase. Additionally, current temporary workers at Ford will receive a 150% raise.
Some workers at Ford’s Sterling Axle and Rawsonville plants will see an 85% raise increase.
UAW Vice President Chuck Browning said the automaker restored the pre-2009 cost of living adjustment and agreed to a three-year wage progression while getting rid of the wage tiers.
Ford also agreed to allow workers to strike over plant closures, something that Browning said is making “historic advances in job security.”
What are the next steps after Ford’s tentative agreement?
Fain said with the agreement, the UAW National Ford Council will come to Detroit to vote on whether to send it to the members. Fain will plan to go live on Facebook to review the agreement with the public, followed by regional meetings with local leaders.
The UAW locals will hold informational meetings to review the agreement. Members will then vote on the agreement.
Fain and Browning are calling on striking Ford workers to return to work while the vote on the agreement continues. Members will receive details on returning to work at a later date.
“We’re going back to work at Ford to 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,” Browning said.
Federal, state and local leaders react to agreement
Multiple federal, state and local leaders have issued statements following news of the UAW’s agreement with Ford.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer:
“Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer released the following statement after the United Auto Workers (UAW) agreed to a tentative agreement with Ford.
“I want to congratulate the UAW and Ford for reaching an historic deal that benefits our world-class autoworkers and helps this world-class automaker succeed. This agreement will put more money into the pockets of hardworking Michiganders while ensuring the company can continue to grow and invest right here in Michigan.
“There is a lot riding on these negotiations. We are in a fierce competition with the rest of the world for the future of manufacturing – and all eyes are on Michigan. We can be the example to the rest of the nation on how to bring jobs back home from overseas and keep making stuff here in Michigan.
“I hope this momentum will help the UAW and the remaining companies reach an agreement so Michiganders can get back to doing what they do best. Michigan is home to phenomenal companies powered by the best autoworkers in the world. Let’s keep it that way.”
President Joe Biden:
“I applaud the UAW and Ford for coming together after a hard fought, good faith negotiation and reaching a historic tentative agreement tonight. This tentative agreement 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.
“Ultimately, the final word on this contract will be from the UAW members themselves in the days and weeks to come. I’ve always believed the middle class built America and unions built the middle class. That is especially the case for UAW workers who built an iconic American industry. And critical to building an economy from the middle out and bottom up, instead of from the top down, is worker power.
“It’s showing how collective bargaining works by providing workers a seat at the table and the opportunity to improve their lives while contributing fully to their employer’s success. This tentative agreement is a testament to the power of employers and employees coming together to work out their differences at the bargaining table in a manner that helps businesses succeed while helping workers secure pay and benefits they can raise a family on and retire with dignity and respect.”
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell:
“The announcement that a tentative agreement has been reached between the UAW and Ford is an important win for auto workers. The reported provisions of the deal will result in a 25% wage increase over the life of the contract, cost of living adjustments, and increased job security.
“These conversations have been hard, but they are shaping the future of the American auto industry as we are in these transformational times. This historic agreement demonstrates what can be accomplished when the workers are given a seat at the table and can work together with management to keep these jobs in America, and keep our country at the forefront of manufacturing, innovation, and technology.
“I will always stand with our auto workers and will fight to ensure the U.S. auto industry remains the global leader. As we get more details, and ultimately the decision is made by the UAW membership, we must remember that the workers are a critical partner to keep this industry competitive.”
Sandy K. Baruah, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Detroit Regional Chamber:
“Certainly, this tentative agreement is good news, and hopefully a positive sign for other companies. This strike has gone on for far too long, especially considering the Detroit Three have essentially agreed to the UAW demands on wages, health care, the tier structure, vacation days, retirement, cost of living adjustments, and more. The short- and long-term damage is now what the companies and communities will have to begin to address.”