First Ford, then Chrysler parent Stellantis, and now General Motors. All three automakers and striking auto workers with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union have now tentative contract agreements, potentially ending the six weeks of walkouts that have hobbled Detroit. The deal with GM may pave the way to ending the Big Three auto workers strike.
Deal with GM the last to fall into place
“The UAW reached a historic tentative agreement with General Motors that paves the way for a just transition and wins record economic gains for autoworkers,” the union said in a statement.
This is NOT a case of “It’s all over but the shouting.” Each of the agreements will still need to be ratified by union members. That’s decidedly not a “shoe-in,” as illustrated by the deal brokered between the UAW and Mack Trucks. A tentative contract was worked out earlier this month, but nearly three-quarters of the membership rejected it. The union and Mack are now back—at the bargaining table.
The tentative contracts with all three of the Big Three automakers look a lot alike. Workers will take home 25% more pay, with additional cost of living allowances. Additionally, workers will see increased contributions to their retirement accounts by their employers. Stellantis also agreed to reopen a previously shut-down plant in Belvidere, Illinois.
UAW turns up heat, GM folds
GM had been the last holdout in the Big Three alignment. To increase the heat on the company, the UAW called for a walkout at GM’s Spring Hill, Tennessee, plant. GM’s biggest plant there produces engines for use in other production lines, meaning a huge supply problem without UAW workers on the line.