After 44 days of strike action, Stellantis, one of Detroit’s “Big Three” automakers, has reached a preliminary agreement on a new labor contract with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union. This agreement, similar to the one struck with Ford earlier in the week, marks a significant turning point in the war on the American working class. UAW President Shawn Fain celebrated the achievement, acknowledging the seemingly impossible task that has now been accomplished.
The tentative contract between Stellantis and UAW includes substantial increases in wages. By 2028, base wages will receive a 25 percent raise, reaching over $42 per hour. Additionally, cost of living adjustments will lead to a cumulative wage increase of 33 percent. Similar to the Ford deal, this preliminary agreement requires ratification by UAW members through a vote. In the meantime, striking Stellantis workers will return to work as the agreement undergoes the ratification process.
Mark Stewart, the North America chief operating officer of Stellantis, expressed gratitude towards the negotiating teams that tirelessly worked towards this agreement. He eagerly looks forward to once again welcoming the 43,000 employees back to work and resuming operations to serve their customers. President Joe Biden, who recently stood on a picket line with UAW members, applauded the UAW and Stellantis for their commitment to reaching a historic agreement that guarantees workers the pay, benefits, dignity, and respect they deserve.
The wage increase in the Stellantis-UAW contract is not as high as the 40 percent initially sought by UAW President Shawn Fain. Nevertheless, it surpasses the nine percent increase initially proposed by Ford in August. While the negotiating process involved making compromises, the agreement still represents a considerable achievement for UAW members. Furthermore, Stellantis has committed to adding 5,000 jobs over the course of the contract, reversing previous plans for job cuts.
With the tentative agreement in place, the UAW encourages its members to return to work at the plants that were targeted with strikes. This strategic move aims to exert pressure on General Motors (GM) and Stellantis to reach similar agreements. Prior to the Ford deal, over 45,000 workers were on strike, with the UAW incrementally escalating the number of factories affected to secure better terms. GM remains the only automaker without a tentative deal, with workers at the Spring Hill assembly plant in Tennessee recently going on strike. Additionally, a strike was called at GM’s factory in Arlington, Texas, earlier this week.
The Stellantis-UAW tentative contract symbolizes a significant step forward for the American working class. It highlights the power of collective bargaining and determination in achieving better conditions for employees. While not meeting the initial demands in full, the agreement offers substantial wage increases and job security. As negotiations continue with GM, the outcome remains uncertain. However, the recent successes of the UAW demonstrate the strength and resilience of American workers in fighting for their rights and fair treatment in the workplace.