Members of the United Auto Workers union demonstrate in front of the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, on September 26, 2023.
Matthew Hatcher | AFP | Getty Images
DETROIT – Local United Auto Workers union leaders approved a tentative agreement with Ford Motor on Sunday that would include the company’s $8.1 billion in investments in new plants, $5,000 in ratification bonuses and other economic benefits such as Provides 25 percent wage increases and improved profit-sharing payments.
The tentative four-and-a-half-year agreement, announced Wednesday, will now be presented to 57,000 UAW-Ford members for regional information meetings and subsequent voting, the union said Sunday. The UAW did not provide a forecast for when the vote, which typically takes a few weeks, will end.
“We are sending you this contract because we know it breaks records. We know it will change lives. But what happens next is up to all of you,” UAW President Shawn Fain and UAW Vice President Chuck Browning said in a joint statement included in a summary of the deal.
UAW leaders laid out some details of the tentative agreement last week but released the summary and more than 800-page contract on Sunday after local union leaders approved it for a vote by members.
The tentative agreement came after the union launched targeted strikes against Ford, General Motors and Chrysler parent Stellantis when the two parties failed to reach agreements before a September 14 deadline.
The UAW announced a tentative deal with Stellantis on Saturday but has not yet reached a new agreement with GM, although both sides came close to reaching an agreement last week.
The largest promised investments under the deal include $2.1 billion for Ohio Assembly for current products and a new electric van; $1.2 billion for a new electric vehicle at Louisville Assembly in Kentucky to produce pickup trucks and SUVs, including hybrid versions of the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator; $1 billion for the Kansas City Assembly; and $900 million for F-150 production and a new electric truck.
UAW President Shawn Fain (center) speaks to reporters as union members strike outside a Ford plant in Wayne, Michigan, on September 15, 2023.
CNBC | Michael Wayland
The 25% increases include an 11% increase upon ratification, followed by 3% increases over the next three years and then a 5% increase in October 2027. The increases and benefits include expectations of $8,800 for adjustments The cost of living cumulatively increases top wages to over $40 per hour, including a 68% increase in starting wages to over $28 per hour.
Fain said Sunday that the UAW plans to use this record deal, as well as others with various companies, as a way to support its struggling organizing efforts, including auto companies outside the “Big Three” Detroit automakers.
“One of our biggest goals after this historic treaty victory is to organize like we have never done before,” Fain said during an online broadcast on Sunday. “When we return to the negotiating table in 2028, it will not only be with the ‘Big Three’, but also with the Big Five or Big Six.”
The UAW said it also secured jobs and easier organizing rights at future battery plants and electric vehicle assembly plants, including a battery plant the automaker is building in Michigan.
A key change to the contract is its duration from four years to four and a half years, with the contract set to expire on April 30, 2028. Fain said the decision to change the contract duration was to align the deadline with the also-mentioned May 1, Labor Day, or International Labor Day, on May 1.
Fain called on other unions to also adjust their deadlines to reflect this period.
Other new benefits for members under the deal include a three-year promotion to the highest pay rates; immediate transfer of temporary workers to permanent positions after three months; improved profit sharing; two weeks of paternity leave; and increased 401(k) contributions, including a 10% company contribution, which would equal about $11,000 per year for the highest-paid workers.
Although the deal was a record, it fell short of some of the UAW’s original goals, including a 40 percent wage increase over the life of the contract, a 32-hour work week, traditional pensions for all workers and other benefits for retirees.
Source : www.cnbc.com