Washington, Oct 25 (EFE).- The United Auto Workers (UAW) union on Wednesday night said it had reached a “historic” tentative labor agreement with Ford following simultaneous strikes against the company as well as General Motors and Stellantis since mid-September.
“We knew we were getting close, but we also knew the companies needed a major push if we were going to make sure we got every penny possible in this agreement. So we took our strike to a new phase and hit the companies with maximum effect,” UAW President Shawn Fein said in a video posted on Facebook.
“On Monday, we called on our UAW family at Sterling Heights Assembly to stand up. That is Stellantis’ biggest and most profitable plant. On Tuesday, our UAW family at Arlington Assembly answered the call and they went out on strike shutting down GM’s biggest and most profitable plant. Ford knew what was coming to them on Wednesday if we didn’t get a deal. That was checkmate,” he added.
“On day 40 of the Stand Up Strike, we reached a historic agreement,” Fain said.
According to the union, the agreement with Ford guarantees a 25 percent wage increase over the next four years, more than all the increases obtained between 2001 and 2022.
In addition, Ford has offered to compensate for the increase in the cost of living for the duration of the collective agreement, which, together with the salary increase, will allow a new employee of the company to earn 68 percent more while those already receiving the maximum pay will earn 33 percent more.
US President Joe Biden welcomed the tentative agreement between the UAW and Ford, which he said “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.”
“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,” he added in a statement.
Ford CEO Jim Farley said that the company was now focused on “restarting Kentucky Truck Plant, Michigan Assembly Plant and Chicago Assembly Plant, calling 20,000 Ford employees back to work and shipping our full lineup to our customers again.”
UAW leadership will vote on the agreement on Oct. 29 after which it must be ratified by Ford’s workers.
“We are calling on all Ford strikers to go back to work while we vote on our tentative agreement…We’re going back to work at Ford to keep the pressure on Stellantis and GM. The last thing they want is for Ford to get back to full capacity while they mess around and lag behind,” UAW Vice President Chuck Browning said. EFE