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Ford and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union have settled on a tentative four-year labor deal, ending a six-week-long strike.
With over 16,000 Ford workers participating in strikes, including those at the major Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, the breakthrough agreement promises a 25% wage increase throughout the contract’s term, with an initial 11% hike in the first year. Considering the cost of living adjustments, the wage increase could reach up to 33%.
UAW President Shawn Fain emphasized the deal’s significance, saying, “For months, we said record profits mean record contracts. And UAW family, our Stand Up Strike has delivered.” The agreement further accelerates wage growth, enabling workers to reach the top wage tier in three years, down from the previous eight. Veteran autoworkers will now receive up to $40 per hour, an increase from the prior rate of $32 per hour. Additionally, the deal includes enhanced company pension contributions.
Fain expressed pride in the union’s achievements with Ford, saying, “We won things nobody thought possible. Together, we are turning the tide for the working class in this country.” While UAW Ford workers will resume duties awaiting the agreement’s finalization, the contract’s implementation relies on its approval by the majority of UAW’s 57,000 Ford members. Addressing the broader industry context, Fain added, “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.”
In a statement, Ford acknowledged the agreement saying “Ford is proud to assemble the most vehicles in America and employ the most hourly autoworkers. We are focused on…calling 20,000 Ford employees back to work.” This landmark agreement with Ford could potentially steer other automakers into negotiations, serving as a blueprint for ensuing deals.
As strikes intensify with nearly 12,000 additional workers picketing GM and Stellantis, President Biden praised the Ford-UAW agreement, underscoring its historic nature and reiterating, “The middle class built America and unions built the middle class.”