By Edwin Buiter
The United Auto Workers have begun to make major headway in its strike against the big three auto manufacturers. After systematically expanding the strike on Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, the UAW came to a tentative deal with Ford on Oct. 25.
The deal with Ford includes a total pay increase of 33 percent during the term of the union contract. This wage brings back cost of living adjustments, something sacrificed in 2007 when automakers were struggling. The union also secured wage increases for temporary workers, and Ford agreed to eliminate the tiered wage system. The UAW board has to vote on whether or not to recommend the deal to UAW members. In a move to put pressure on GM and Stellantis, the UAW has told Ford workers to return to work.
The deal is historic and will mean a significant increase in pay for UAW workers at Ford. Historically, when one manufacturer makes a deal with the union, the other two will follow suit. GM and Stellantis are still negotiating with the union, but a deal is likely to come soon.
A strike at a major Ford plant in Dearborn was avoided after the deal was made. Earlier in the week, the UAW had expanded their strikes against GM and Stellantis, shutting down profitable truck production plants. Over 40,000 UAW workers were on strike.