UAW Reaches Tentative Deal With Stellantis

UAW union reached a deal with Ford days earlier. It is now expanding its strike against General Motors.
UAW Reaches Tentative Deal With Stellantis
Labor supporters and members of the United Auto Workers union (UAW) Local 230 march along a picket line during a strike outside of the Stellantis Chrysler Los Angeles Parts Distribution Center in Ontario, Calif., on Sept. 26, 2023. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)
Mimi Nguyen Ly

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union and Stellantis have reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract that would end the strike against the maker of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram vehicles, the union announced on Oct. 28.

UAW President Shawn Fain confirmed the Stellantis agreement by video.

“We have not only secured a record contract [for Stellantis], we have begun to turn the tide in the war on the American working class,” he said in a separate written statement.

More than 14,000 UAW members had carried out a six-week-long strike at two Stellantis assembly plants in Michigan and Ohio, and at several distribution centers across the nation.

“We look forward to welcoming our 43,000 employees back to work and resuming operations to serve our customers and execute our Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan to maintain Stellantis’s position at the forefront of innovation,” Stellantis North America Chief Operating Officer Mark Stewart said in a written statement on Oct. 28.

The deal leaves General Motors (GM) as the only Big Three automaker without an agreement with the union, which had on Oct. 25 reached a tentative deal with Ford.

The Ford and Stellantis agreements still need to be ratified by all workers. Employees are expected to return to work in the meantime.

The two deals won assembly plant workers a record 25 percent increase in general wages over the next 4 1/2 years, with an 11 percent raise coming once the deal is ratified. The contracts will run through April 30, 2028.

Under the Stellantis deal, workers will get cost-of-living pay that would bring the raises to a compounded 33 percent, with top assembly plant workers making more than $42 per hour. At Stellantis, top-scale workers now make about $31 per hour.

The agreement saved jobs in Belvidere, Illinois, as well at an engine plant in Trenton, Michigan, and a machining factory in Toledo, Ohio, the UAW said.

“We’ve done the impossible. We have moved mountains,“ Mr. Fain said. ”We have reopened an assembly plant that was closed

President Joe Biden praised what he called “a historic agreement” to end the strike, according to a statement released on Oct. 28.

The agreement “will guarantee workers the pay, benefits, dignity, and respect they deserve,” specifically by rewarding the autoworkers with “record raises, more paid leave, greater retirement security, and more rights and respect at work,” he said.

“This contract is a testament to the power of unions and collective bargaining to build strong middle-class jobs while helping our most iconic American companies thrive,” President Biden said.

UAW Expands Strike Against GM

Talks between the union and GM continue as the strike enters its seventh week. The UAW has expanded its strike against GM, with its members walking out on the night of Oct. 28 at a GM engine factory in Spring Hill, Tennessee—which makes the Cadillac XT5, XT6, the all-electric Cadillac LYRIQ, and the GMC Acadia and is the automaker’s largest North American manufacturing facility.
“Imagine, everyone is making trucks but you,” UAW lawyer Benjamin Dictor said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “If everyone else could get it done, what does that say about you?”

Roughly 3,900 people work at the Spring Hill facility, although not all are part of the union. With this expansion, about 18,000 GM workers have now walked off the job, representing close to 40 percent of the entire UAW workforce at the automaker.

Two of GM’s large pickup plants could be affected by the Spring Hill walkout, according to a statement from the company, which stated that it wanted to reach an agreement quickly.

“We are disappointed by the UAW’s action in light of the progress we have made,” the automaker said. “We have continued to bargain in good faith with the UAW, and our goal remains to reach an agreement as quickly as possible.”

The UAW has been striking at GM’s Arlington, Texas, assembly plant, which makes Chevy’s Tahoe and Suburban, and the Cadillac Escalade. GM said last week that this walkout was costing it $400 million a week.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.