UAW-Stellantis workers approve new contract

  • Members of the United Auto Workers at Chrysler owner Stellandis have approved a new labor contract.
  • The contract approvals come weeks after the automakers and the union reached tentative agreements.
  • Most of Stellar’s plants have approved the deal, which includes at least a 25% wage increase at GM and Ford.

Members of the United Auto Workers rally outside Stellantis’ Ram 1500 plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, after the union called for a strike at the plant on October 23, 2023.

Michael Wayland/CNBC

DETROIT – Members of the United Auto Workers at Chrysler owner Stellandis have approved a new labor contract, according to preliminary results, following a historically contentious round of negotiations between the union and the company. Published on Friday by the union.

It’s the second deal this week for Detroit automakers. The contract with General Motors received 54.7% support from UAW-GM members who voted, according to preliminary results. UAW members are on pace to ratify their agreement with Ford Motor, but continue to vote on Friday.

Most Stellandis facilities have largely ratified the deal, which includes at least a 25% wage increase, such as GM and Ford. This includes reopening the Illinois plant, which has been idled indefinitely.

As stated therein The UAW’s poll watcher, 68.4% of the more than 26,000 autoworkers at Stellandis who were polled supported the deal. There are still a few smaller facilities to complete polling, but those locations do not have enough staff to cover the margin of about 9,650 votes.

The Stellantis deal drew significant opposition at the automaker’s Jeep plants in Toledo, where 55% of workers opposed the deal. Other major assembly plants largely supported the deal.

Both the UAW and Stellantis declined to comment pending the results.

The contract approvals come weeks after the automakers and the union reached tentative agreements.

The deals will be a record for the union, which has been more confrontational and strategic during negotiations than in recent history.

The union began negotiations with all three automakers simultaneously, breaking from the recent practice of negotiating with each automaker individually, selecting a lead company to focus efforts on, and modeling the remaining contracts from that lead tentative agreement.

When agreements were not reached by the Sept. 14 deadline, the union launched targeted plant-to-plant strikes as a way to protect companies and increase pressure when necessary.

At the height of the walkouts, about 40% of the 146,000 UAW members under contracts were on strike or fired due to disruptions.

The new contracts bring into the fold groups of workers such as battery workers and others not included in past contracts. It was not immediately clear which UAW members the new contracts would cover.

For the union and UAW President Sean Fein, these contracts represent significant economic gains; A path to securing future jobs for unionized teams like those at battery plants; And a swing toward organizing efforts at other non-union automakers operating in the U.S. — Fein’s main goal moving forward.

The union said the contract’s improvements are estimated to more than quadruple the 2019 contract and provide more base pay increases than workers have received in the past 22 years.

For companies and their investors, the deals mark the culmination of a forecast increase in labor costs. Although automakers have repeatedly criticized the union’s tactics, including targeted six-week strikes, they have been able to cope with price hikes. That’s not to say they won’t compensate for increases elsewhere through future investments, restructuring and other means.

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