After weeks of strikes and bitter back and forth between the United Auto Workers and the CEOs of Detroit’s Big Three, at least one company looks poised to make a deal. On Friday night, Ford and the UAW both released statements that a tentative agreement had been reached to send workers back to the plant floor, pending a vote from the labor unions members.
According to a statement released by Ford and accredited to Ford President Jim Farley, “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.”
UAW President Shawn Fain took a victory lap at the news, outlining the proposed agreement which will provide a 25% wage hike over the life of the 4.5 year contract starting with an 11% increase, eliminate wage tiers, and returns Cost-of-Living Allowances and a three-year Wage Progression which were removed during the Great Recession. It will also benefit retirement, pension and 401K options for workers, among other things.
“For months we’ve said that record profits mean record contracts. And UAW family, our Stand Up Strike has delivered. What started at three plants at midnight on September 15, has become a national movement,” said Fain. “We won things nobody thought possible. Since the strike began, Ford put 50% more on the table than when we walked out. This agreement sets us on a new path to make things right at Ford, at the Big Three, and across the auto industry. Together, we are turning the tide for the working class in this country.”
The agreement could set a template for negotiations between GM and Stellantis. Meanwhile, Ford workers will head back to the factories while the agreement is ratified.