UAW announces tentative deal with Stellantis, expands strike against GM

By: - October 31, 2023 4:20 am
Members of the UAW picket line in Delta Township, Michigan on September 29, 2023. (Photo: Anna Liz Nichols)

Members of the UAW picket line in Delta Township, Michigan on September 29, 2023. (Photo: Anna Liz Nichols)

The United Auto Workers (UAW) announced Saturday that it has reached a tentative agreement to end the 44-day strike against Stellantis, including at its Toledo plant, following a similar deal with Ford earlier in the week.

“On Day 44 of our Stand Up Strike, I am honored to announce that our union is again victorious. Once again we’ve achieved just weeks ago what we were told was impossible,“ UAW president Shawn Fain said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The Ford tentative agreement, which was announced on Wednesday, includes a 25% wage increase over 4.5 years, starting with an initial pay hike of 11%.

The strike against the Detroit Three, which began on Sept. 15, includes about 46,000 workers and 40 plants and part centers across the nation.

From a UAW strike history perspective, the current “Stand Up Strike” is a long one. The 1936-37 Flint sit-down strike against General Motors also ended after 44 days. And the 2019 UAW strike against General Motors ended after 40 days.

Stellantis and GM made new offers late this week that match a 25% raise included in Ford Motor Co.’s tentative agreement that would expire in April 2028. However, the UAW has not reached a deal with GM.

President Joe Biden, who last month went to a Wayne picket line with Fain, was excited about the potential Stellanti agreement.

“I applaud the UAW and Stellantis for coming together after hard fought, good faith negotiations to reach a historic agreement that will guarantee workers the pay, benefits, dignity and respect they deserve,” Biden said. “This groundbreaking contract rewards the autoworkers who sacrificed so much to revive our auto industry with record raises, more paid leave, greater retirement security, and more rights and respect at work.

“I want to applaud the UAW and Stellantis for agreeing to immediately bring back all of the Stellantis workers who have been walking the picket line on behalf of their UAW brothers and sisters,” Biden added. “This contract is a testament to the power of unions and collective bargaining to build strong middle-class jobs while helping our most iconic American companies thrive. The final word on this tentative agreement will ultimately come from UAW Stellantis members themselves in the days and weeks to come.”

The pact will now go through the union’s process for ratification, ending with UAW members having the final say.

UAW graphic

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also applauded the Stellantis announcement.

“This agreement will raise wages for workers and shore up the company’s footprint in Michigan,” she stated. “As governor, I am focused on building on our century-long leadership in auto manufacturing, and with this strong agreement, I know we will define the next century too.

“Together, we can keep competing with everyone to bring good-paying, family-sustaining jobs back home to Michigan from overseas. Let’s build on our momentum and ratify these agreements so Michiganders can get back to doing what they do best — making the world’s best cars and trucks.”

UAW adds Tennessee plant to strike

Although there were high hopes for a tentative agreement with GM this weekend following intense negotiations, the UAW’s strike against the automaker has now expanded.

The union on Saturday evening called up GM Spring Hill Manufacturing, which is south of Nashville, to join the strike. The plant employs nearly 4,000 workers and is the company’s largest manufacturing facility in North America.

GM issued a statement on Saturday saying, “We are disappointed by the UAW’s action in light of the progress we have made. We have continued to bargain in good faith with the UAW, and our goal remains to reach an agreement as quickly as possible.”

Michigan Advance Editor Susan J. Demas contributed to this story.



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Ken Coleman
Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman writes about Southeast Michigan, history and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on Black life in Detroit.