United Auto Workers union and Ford reach tentative labor agreement

Oct 25, 2023, 6:48 PM

Striking United Auto Workers members cheer and wave their signs as a passing driver honks their hor...

Striking United Auto Workers members cheer and wave their signs as a passing driver honks their horn outside the General Motors Memphis ACDelco Parts Distribution Center and Bulk Center after local workers joined national UAW strikes at 11 a.m. in Memphis, Tenn., on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. (Chris Day/The Commercial Appeal via AP)

(Chris Day/The Commercial Appeal via AP)

(CNN) —Ford and the United Auto Workers union reached a tentative labor deal, according to the union. It is an important first step in ending the union’s unprecedented strike against three major U.S. automakers.

“Our Stand Up strike has delivered,” UAW president Shawn Fain declared in a video posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Ford knew what was coming for them on Wednesday if we didn’t get a deal. That was checkmate. On day 40 of the Stand Up strike, we reached a historic agreement,” Fain added.

The agreement will not go into effect until the 57,000 UAW rank-and-file members at Ford ratify the deal, a process that is likely to take more than a week. And it will not mean an end to the strike at rivals General Motors and Stellantis. But it will step up pressure on those two automakers to reach their own deal with the union.

The deal is expected to give UAW members pay increases starting at 25% over the next four-and-a-half years, until the tentative contract is set to expire in early 2028. It also returns a cost-of-living adjustment to the contract that will protect workers from rising prices. When the cost of living adjustment is combined with the guaranteed pay increases, workers are expected to see pay increases of 30% or more during the life of the contract.

The union has been on strike against all three automakers since Sept. 15, the first time in its history that it has staged a simultaneous strike against the nation’s three unionized automakers. But it has not shut down all the operations at any of the automakers, instead staging targeted strikes against specific plants at all three.

There are currently 16,600 UAW members on strike at three Ford assembly plants, including its largest, the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville. It is possible they could all stay on strike during the ratification process, or it is possible that the union could return to work while they vote on the deal.

This is a developing story. It will be updated.

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United Auto Workers union and Ford reach tentative labor agreement