The UAW and Stellantis have come to a preliminary agreement on a contract, with the union also calling for a strike at a GM factory.
detroit, michigan —
Stellantis, the manufacturer of Jeep, has come to a preliminary agreement with the United Auto Workers union on Saturday.
The agreement between Stellantis and the union, which still needs to be approved by members, means that General Motors is now the only company without a deal in place.
On Saturday night, the labor union staged a walkout at a GM plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, in hopes of pushing the company to reach a resolution.
The agreement between Stellantis and the union resembles the one made with Ford earlier this week. According to the union, the contract also preserves employment opportunities at a plant in Belvidere, Illinois, which Stellantis had intended to shut down.
General Motors expressed disappointment with the new strike at the Spring Hill assembly and propulsion systems plant, given the progress they have achieved so far. The company released a statement stating that they have negotiated with the union in good faith and are eager to reach an agreement as soon as possible.
Spring Hill, GM’s biggest production plant in North America, spans approximately 1 million square meters and has a workforce of nearly 4,000 employees. It produces the electric Cadillac Lyriq, as well as the GMC Acadia and Cadillac XT5 and XT6 crossover SUVs.
The union was contacted on Saturday evening for a response.
We have accomplished something immense.
Shawn Fain, President of the UAW, announced the Stellantis agreement in a video appearance on Saturday evening. He also mentioned that the 43,000 members employed by the company will need to vote on the deal.
Approximately 14,000 employees of the UAW who were participating in a strike at two Stellantis factories in Michigan and Ohio, as well as various parts distribution centers throughout the nation, have been instructed to cease their strike and resume their duties. This deal will put an end to the six-week strike at the company responsible for producing Jeep and Ram automobiles.
The agreement will result in a 25% overall pay raise for top assembly plant employees over the next 4 and a half years, with 11% being given upon ratification of the deal. Additionally, workers will receive cost-of-living adjustments which will bring their total raises to a compounded 33%, resulting in top assembly plant workers earning more than $42 per hour. Currently, top-level employees at Stellantis make approximately $31 per hour.
Similar to the agreement with Ford, the Stellantis contract is set to expire on April 30, 2028.
According to the agreement, the union reported that it was able to preserve employment opportunities in Belvidere, as well as at a Trenton, Michigan engine plant and a Toledo, Ohio machining factory.
Fain stated that we have achieved the impossible by reopening a closed assembly plant and moving mountains.
Stellantis has made a commitment to construct a new midsize truck at their Belvidere, Illinois factory, which was previously planned for closure. The union reports that approximately 1,200 employees will be rehired and an additional 1,000 workers will be recruited for a new battery plant for electric vehicles.
Fain stated that we will be reintroducing positions for both traditional and electric vehicles in Belvidere.
Rich Boyer, the Vice President who oversaw the negotiations for Stellantis, announced that the workforce at the machining plant in Toledo, Ohio will be doubled. He also mentioned that the union secured a total of $19 billion in investments throughout the United States.
According to Fain, Stellantis initially suggested reducing 5,000 positions in the United States, but due to the union’s strike, the plan shifted to creating 5,000 jobs by the end of the contract.
The UAW announced that the Stellantis deal includes advancements that are over four times greater than those made in the 2019 contract. By April 2028, the base salary of a senior assembly plant employee will have risen more than the total increases of the past 22 years.
The union announced that new employees will see a 67% increase in their starting pay, which includes cost-of-living adjustments, bringing their hourly wage to over $30. Temporary workers will receive raises of over 165%, and those employed at parts centers will see an immediate 76% increase in their pay if the contract is approved.
According to the union, similar to the Ford contract, it will only take three years for new employees to reach the maximum pay level for assembly work.
According to Fain, the union has also been granted the ability to go on strike in the event of plant closures at Stellantis. Additionally, they have the right to strike if the company fails to fulfill their product and investment obligations.
Employees anticipated to approve agreement.
The president of the local union at a major Stellantis Jeep factory in Toledo, Ohio, Bruce Baumhower, predicts that workers will agree to the proposed agreement due to the significant salary increases of over 30% and a substantial immediate raise.
The labor union initiated specific strikes against the three automakers on September 15th, following the expiration of their contracts. At its height, approximately 46,000 employees were on strike against all three companies, which accounted for about one-third of the union’s 146,000 members at the “Detroit three.”
Under the Ford agreement, which set a precedent for the other two corporations, employees with pension plans will receive minor boosts upon retirement, while those who were hired after 2007 and have 401(k) plans will receive significant increases. Additionally, the union now has the ability to strike in response to a company’s decision to shut down factories. Temporary workers will also receive substantial wage hikes, and Ford has committed to reducing the time it takes for new hires to reach the highest pay level from five years to three.
In recent months, additional union leaders have employed more assertive negotiation tactics that resulted in salary increases and additional perks for their members. The union representing Hollywood writers reached a resolution last month after a nearly five-month strike, achieving successes in areas such as pay, tenure, and other terms.
At the Sterling Heights factory, a few employees expressed their anticipation for a ratification vote and returning to their jobs.
Anthony Collier, a 54-year-old resident of Sterling Heights, Michigan, expressed his satisfaction with the proposed agreement, stating that it is excellent. He mentioned that there is talk of achieving parity with Ford, which is something that many people are eagerly anticipating. Collier also acknowledged that due to the economic downturn, many workers had to use their savings or take out loans, making it difficult to sustain a strike.