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DETROIT (AP/WJW) — The United Auto Workers union said Wednesday it has reached a tentative contract agreement with Ford that could be a breakthrough toward ending the nearly 6-week-old strikes against Detroit automakers.
The four-year deal, which still has to be approved by 57,000 union members at the company, could bring a close to the union’s series of strikes at targeted factories run by Ford, General Motors and Jeep maker Stellantis.
The Ford deal could set the pattern for agreements with the other two automakers, although no other agreements were announced.
The union called on all workers at Ford to return to their jobs and said that will put pressure on GM and Stellantis to bargain.
“We told Ford to pony up, and they did,” President Shawn Fain said in a video address to members. “We won things no one thought possible.” He added that Ford put 50% more money on the table than it did before the strike started on Sept. 15.
Vice President Chuck Browning, the chief negotiator with Ford, said workers will get a 25% general wage increase, plus cost of living raises that will put the pay increase over 30%, to above $40 per hour.
The Ford deal could set the pattern for agreements with the other two automakers.
Previously Ford, Stellantis and General Motors had all offered 23% pay increases.
Typically, during past auto strikes, a UAW deal with one automaker has led the other companies to match it with their own settlements.
President Joe Biden released a statement following the agreement, saying the following:
I applaud the UAW and Ford for coming together after a hard fought, good faith negotiation and reaching a historic tentative agreement tonight. This tentative agreement provides a record raise to auto workers who have sacrificed so much to ensure our iconic Big Three companies can still lead the world in quality and innovation. Ultimately, the final word on this contract will be from the UAW members themselves in the days and weeks to come. I’ve always believed the middle class built America and unions built the middle class. That is especially the case for UAW workers who built an iconic American industry. And critical to building an economy from the middle out and bottom up, instead of from the top down, is worker power. It’s showing how collective bargaining works by providing workers a seat at the table and the opportunity to improve their lives while contributing fully to their employer’s success. This tentative agreement is a testament to the power of employers and employees coming together to work out their differences at the bargaining table in a manner that helps businesses succeed while helping workers secure pay and benefits they can raise a family on and retire with dignity and respect.