- Local union leaders of the United Auto Workers on Sunday approved a tentative agreement with Ford that includes $8.1 billion in new investment from the company and $5,000 in ratification bonuses.
- The tentative 4 ½-year agreement will now be circulated to UAW-Ford’s 57,000 members for regional information meetings and then a vote, the union said Sunday.
- The tentative deal was reached after the union launched targeted strikes against Ford, General Motors and Stellantis after the parties failed to reach agreements before a Sept. 14 deadline.
Members of the United Auto Workers union picket outside the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan on September 26, 2023.
Matthew Hatcher | AFP | Getty Images
DETROIT – Local union leaders of the United Auto Workers on Sunday approved a tentative agreement with Ford Motor that includes $8.1 billion in new investment from the company, $5,000 in ratification bonuses and other economic benefits such as a 25 percent combined wage increase and improved pay profit sharing.
The tentative 4 1/2-year agreement, which was announced Wednesday, will now be circulated to the 57,000 UAW-Ford members for regional information meetings and then for a vote, the union said Sunday. The UAW has not released an estimate of when the vote, which usually takes several weeks, will end.
“We’re sending you this contract because we know it’s a record breaker. We know it will change your life. But what happens next is up to all of you,” UAW President Sean Fein and UAW Vice President Chuck Browning said in a joint statement included in a summary of the deal.
UAW leaders sketched out some details of the tentative agreement last week, but released the summary and more than 800 pages of the contract Sunday after local union leaders approved it for a membership vote.
The tentative agreement was reached after the union launched targeted strikes against Ford, General Motors and Chrysler’s parent Stellantis when the parties failed to reach agreements before a Sept. 14 deadline.
The UAW announced a tentative deal Saturday with Stellantis but has yet to reach a new agreement with GM, although the sides were close to a deal last week.
The largest promised investments under the deal include $2.1 billion for Ohio Assembly for ongoing products and a new electric van; $1.2 billion for a new EV at Louisville Assembly in Kentucky to make pickup trucks and SUVs, including hybrid versions of the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator; $1 billion in Kansas City Assembly; and $900 million to produce the F-150 and a new electric truck.
UAW President Sean Fein, center, speaks to reporters as union members strike outside a Ford plant in Wayne, Michigan, September 15, 2023.
CNBC | Michael Wayland
The 25 percent increases include an 11 percent increase upon ratification, followed by a 3 percent increase over the next three years and then a 5 percent increase in October 2027. The raises and benefits, such as an expectation of $8,800 in cost-of-living adjustments, cumulatively raise the top wage to over $40 an hour, including a 68% increase in starting wages to over $28 an hour.
Fein said Sunday that the UAW plans to use this record deal, and others with various companies, as a way to shore up its struggling organizing efforts, including auto companies outside Detroit’s “Big Three” automakers.
“One of our biggest goals stemming from this historic contract win is to organize like never before,” Fein said Sunday during an online broadcast. “When we go back to the negotiating table in 2028, it won’t just be with the Big Three, but with the Big Five or Big Six.
The UAW said it has also secured jobs and easier organizing rights at upcoming battery plants and electric vehicle assembly plants, including a battery plant being built by the automaker in Michigan.
A major change to the deal is its duration from four years to four-and-a-half years, with the contract set to expire on April 30, 2028. Fein said the decision to change the duration was to accommodate the May Day deadline, also known as labor or International Labor Day, May 1.
Fein called on other unions to align their deadlines with that time frame.
Other new benefits for members under the deal include three-year progression to top pay levels; immediate conversion of temporary workers into permanent workers after three months; improved profit sharing; two weeks paternity leave; and increased 401(k) contributions, including 10 percent company contributions, which would equate to about $11,000 a year for the highest-paid workers.
Although the deal is a record, it fell short of some of the UAW’s original goals, including a 40 percent wage increase during the terms of the deal, a 32-hour work week, traditional pensions for all workers and other benefits for retirees.