The American auto union UAW announced a preliminary agreement with Stellantis on Saturday, three days after a similar agreement with Ford, to end the strike at the automaker. The agreement, reached after 44 days of a strike that simultaneously targeted Detroit's three major automakers (the third being General Motors), provides for a 25% increase in base wages by 2028, the union said . It includes several adjustments including that linked to the cost of living, which will allow a 33% increase in salary, or $42 per hour.
Like the one concluded with Ford, any preliminary agreement with the Italian-Franco-American group Stellantis will have to be ratified by a vote of the members of the UAW. “Stellantis workers will return to work during the ratification process of the agreement,” the UAW said in a statement. The wage increase under the tentative agreement is slightly less than the 40 percent that Shawn Fain, the union's powerful leader, demanded when the UAW launched the strike on September 15. But it is, for example, significantly higher than that of 9% initially proposed by Ford in August. US President Joe Biden welcomed the agreement.
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“I commend the UAW and Stellantis for reaching, after hard-fought, good-faith negotiations, a historic agreement that will guarantee workers the wages, benefits, dignity and respect they deserve,” he said. Joe Biden in a press release. “Once again, we have succeeded in what, a few weeks ago, seemed impossible to us,” welcomed the president of the UAW, estimating that “we have begun to reverse the trend in the war against the American working class.
According to Shawn Fain, Stellantis will create some 5,000 jobs over the life of the contract, which is a reversal from the job cuts the automaker was considering before the negotiations. After the agreement in principle reached with Ford on October 25, the UAW announced that the American manufacturer's employees would return to work to put pressure on General Motors (GM) and Stellantis.
This is the first time that the “Big Three” have been targeted by a strike at the same time. The latter, linked to the development of the next collective agreements, mobilized before the agreement at Ford nearly 45,000 employees in total, out of the 146,000 enrolled at the UAW. General Motors is now the last major American manufacturer not to have reached an agreement with the auto union. Its Arlington (Texas) factory is the latest to be affected by the strike movement, while the group published quarterly results above expectations.