In a significant development for the automotive industry, union members at Ford, Stellantis, and General Motors have given their approval to a new 4½-year contract, locking in an impressive 11% pay increase that was negotiated after a six-week strike in September and October. The United Auto Workers (UAW) reported that around 67% of Ford employees represented by the UAW have voted in favour of the contract, which is slated to remain in effect until April 30, 2028.
This contract follows intense negotiations that unfolded after UAW members staged a strike from September 15 to late October. As part of the agreement, workers will see a substantial 25% increase in pay over the contract’s duration. Notable provisions include the reinstatement of cost-of-living adjustments, a reduction in the time it takes for workers to reach top wages from eight to three years, and safeguarding their right to strike in response to plant closures.
Described by both the UAW and the automakers as “record” contracts due to the substantial pay raises, these agreements signify a victory for workers, according to UAW President Shawn Fain. Fain also emphasised that these contracts are integral to a broader strategy aimed at regaining additional benefits over the long term.
While the contract was approved by GM workers, the margin was narrower compared to Ford, with approximately 55% of GM employees voting in favour. The UAW’s ratification vote tracker indicates that Stellantis employees are on track to approve the deal at margins similar to Ford workers, with around 66% of ballots cast in favour based on the tallied votes as of Thursday evening Eastern Time.
It’s noteworthy that workers at each of Detroit’s Big Three automakers are voting independently on the contracts, even though the general terms are similar across the board.