(CTN News) – It was announced Wednesday night that the United Auto Workers union and Ford Motor have reached a tentative agreement that will end a nearly six-week strike.
As reported earlier by CNBC, the tentative agreement includes a 25% pay increase over the term of the contract and will increase the top wage to more than $40 an hour, including an increase of 68% in the starting wage to over $28 an hour.
There will also be a reinstatement of cost-of-living adjustments, a three-year path to top wages, and the right to strike over the closure of plants. As well as other significant enhancements.
As a result of our request, Ford agreed to pay up.
UAW President Shawn Fain said in a video posted online Wednesday night that “we won things that nobody thought was possible”. According to him, Ford’s offer has increased by 50% since the start of the targeted strikes on September 15.
A simple majority of Ford’s 57,000 union-represented workers must approve the tentative agreement before it can be ratified. There will be informational meetings and an online briefing to discuss the specifics of the agreement, which will be available online with summaries.
During the video interview with Fain, UAW Vice President Chuck Browning said that autoworkers on strike with Ford would return to work while the union’s approval and voting process is underway.
As with everything we’ve done in this ‘stand-up’ strike, this is a strategic move to achieve the best possible deal,” Browning, who led Ford’s negotiations, said. In order to maintain pressure on Stellantis and GM, we are returning to work at Ford. They do not want Ford to be able to get back to full capacity while they mess around and fall behind.
According to Ford, the company is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement. The company is now focused on restarting production at the Kentucky Truck Plant, Michigan Assembly Plant, and Chicago Assembly Plant, where the union initiated walkouts by approximately 16,600 employees.
Ford’s shares rose approximately 2% in after-hours trading. A share of the company closed Wednesday at $11.54, an increase of 1.3%. Over the past year, the stock has declined by less than 1%.
According to the union, the gains in the deal are valued at more than four times those from the 2019 contract and represent more increases in base wages than Ford workers have received over the past 22 years.
According to sources, Ford and the union engaged in intense negotiations Tuesday and Wednesday to finalize the record contract. The company reports its third-quarter results after the markets close on Thursday.
Since Sept 14, the UAW and Ford, as well as its crosstown rivals General Motors and Stellantis, have been locked in negotiations largely about the economics of the new contracts covering 146,000 autoworkers.
As a result of the union’s decision to initiate negotiations at once with all three automakers, it broke with recent history when UAW leaders would negotiate with each automaker individually, select a lead company to focus on, and then model the remaining agreements following that leading tentative agreement.
GM and Stellantis both released statements on Wednesday night stating that they would continue to work with the UAW union to reach a tentative agreement as soon as possible.