UAW and Ford Announce Tentative Deal

The tentative deal between the UAW and Ford would end the strike against one of the mammoth automakers making up The Big Three, according to the union.

Ari Bloomekatz

Steve Summers, 60, outside of Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne on Sept. 16, 2023. A day after the UAW's strike against The Big Three began. Photo by Nic Antaya for The Washington Post via Getty Images

The United Auto Workers have secured a tentative deal with Ford that would end the strike against one of the mammoth automakers making up The Big Three, the union announced Wednesday night. 

Earlier in the evening, numerous journalists and publications noted that the tentative deal was likely, and publications like Bloomberg reported early Wednesday evening that the deal had already been made.

We announce a major victory in the Stand-Up Strike. Today, we reached a tentative agreement with Ford. For months we said that record profits mean record contracts, and UAW family, our Stand-Up strike has delivered,” UAW President Shawn Fain said in a video posted on X (formerly Twitter).

Bloomberg noted that the breakthrough puts pressure on the carmaker’s two chief rivals to reach deals and end a protracted strike that has already cost the industry billions of dollars.”

The Bloomberg piece, attributing the information to a person familiar with the negotiations,” also noted that the other two members of The Big Three, General Motors and Stellantis, are set to meet with the UAW on Thursday.”

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About two weeks ago, Keith Brower Brown of Labor Notes reported that the UAW called a strike at Ford’s vast and critical Kentucky Truck Plant after the automaker offered the UAW a package that they said was a mirror image of an offer they had previously made.

Brower Brown wrote that Ford had signaled for some time that they were going to increase their offer, but they didn’t.

If this is all you have for us, our members’ lives and my handshake are worth more than this,” UAW President Shawn Fain told them. This just cost you Kentucky Truck Plant.”

And with that, some 8,700 autoworkers walked off the job at the Kentucky Truck Plant. It was a major escalation in the strike and in negotiations with Ford.

The UAW’s strike against The Big Three started about six weeks ago, on Sept. 15. In addition to Kentucky, Ford plants were targeted in Michigan and Illinois.

We have won a 25% general wage increase over the course of this agreement,” said UAW Vice-President Chuck Browning, who was in the video with Fain. With the [Cost-of-Living-Adjustment], we expect the top wage rate to increase by over 30% to above $40 an hour. Our starting wage rate will rise 68%.”

He added, among many other gains, that for decades temps at The Big Three have been abused and exploited. Over the life of the contract, temps will see raises of over 150%.”

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Ari Bloomekatz is Executive Editor at In These Times. He was previously the Managing Editor of Rethinking Schools and Tikkun magazines, and spent several years as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. Follow him @bloomekatz.

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