UAW reaches agreement with General Motors
The United Auto Workers union and General Motors have agreed to terms for a new contract, six weeks after the union began a strike at the Big Three automakers. The union confirmed Monday afternoon.
The agreement with General Motors, the lone holdout after last week’s deal with Ford and a weekend agreement with Stellantis, could end a weeks-long strike against Detroit automakers and deliver another victory for organized labor in recent months.
The deal comes days after the UAW reached a tentative agreement with Ford Motor Company that includes a 25% wage increase over the course of the contract, cost-of-living wage increases and profit-sharing checks, and after reaching a similar agreement with Stellantis, which makes Dodge, Ram, Jeep and Chrysler vehicles. The initial agreement with GM reflects those agreements.
The deals with Ford and Stellantis are awaiting approval by union members, but they are expected to determine the pattern of deals with General Motors, the only holdout.
In a video announcement released late Monday afternoon, UAW President Sean Fine called the outcome of their negotiating efforts “one of the most stunning victories since the sit-down strikes of the 1930s” that led to recognition of the union.
“With this tentative agreement, we have not only won at GM, but over the past six days, working around the clock, we have reached tentative agreements at all three major companies,” Fine said. “When I think about where this fight started, one thing is abundantly clear: They underestimated us. They underestimated us. These companies had no idea what was coming to them, and they had no idea what was coming next.”
He added, “The strike is the first page in a new chapter of our story.” “We have won record deals with Ford, Stellantis, and now General Motors. We have united our membership like never before. We have shown corporations, the American public, and the entire world that the working class is not finished fighting. In fact, we’ve only just begun.”
“These standard agreements reward all the workers who gave up so much to keep the industry running and afloat during the financial crisis more than a decade ago,” President Joe Biden said at a Monday event dedicated to artificial intelligence.
Biden said the collective bargaining the UAW engaged in to improve wages and benefits was similarly taking place in a variety of industries, from railroad and port workers to writers and health care providers.
“We have to do more, but we are finally starting to build an economy that works for working people and the middle class, for the entire country, including businesses, because when we do that, the poor have legs up, and the middle class is doing well and the rich are still doing well.” Extremely. “We’re all doing a good job.”
In a separate statement, the president called it a “historic agreement” that serves as “a testament to the power of unions and collective bargaining to build strong middle-class jobs while helping our most iconic American companies thrive.”
“Congratulations to the UAW on securing record contracts for hardworking employees at the Big Three auto companies!” House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said in a press conference Social media sharing. “Everyone wins when labor and industry come together to lift up the great dream of the American middle class.”
The GM news comes after the UAW expanded its strike on Monday at the Stellantis plant that makes best-selling Ram pickup trucks and again on Tuesday at a GM plant that makes popular SUVs including the GMC Yukon. Earlier this month, the UAW added 8,700 workers to picket lines at a Ford plant in Kentucky that makes some of the company’s most popular trucks and SUVs, including the Super Duty pickup truck, Expedition SUV and Lincoln Navigator.
About 45,000 of the UAW’s 150,000 members have been on strike at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis since Sept. 15, one day after their four-year contract expired.
In July, Fine began meeting with automakers separately, presenting each with a list of 10 demands, including a 40% wage increase, cost-of-living adjustments, defined retirement benefits for all workers, and the right to strike against plant closures. And more paid leave to stay with families. While the UAW has made progress with the three companies, Fine said earlier this month that he was tired of automakers gaming the union system to announce strike expansions on Friday and engage in 11y Hour negotiations and the plants will strike without warning.
As of one week ago, Ford, General Motors and Stellantis had offered a 23% pay increase to the UAW. Ford was the first to raise the increase to 25% over four years. Under the terms of the new contract, the company will also include cost-of-living wage increases that could raise total wage increases to more than 33%, as well as annual profit-sharing checks.
Ford also gave union members the right to strike over plant closures and additional job security in the event of layoffs, with both full-time and temporary workers receiving income security for up to two years including health care.
CFO John Lawler said after the deal was reached that the UAW strike against Ford cost the company $1.3 billion in profits. GM said the strike cost it $200 million a week.
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