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UAW Strike: Ford and Union Agree Record Pay Rise in Tentative Deal

Ford and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union have reached a tentative deal, which includes a record pay rise, to end a nearly six-week strike.

The agreement would be the first settlement of strikes by workers at Ford, General Motors (GM) and Chrysler-parent Stellantis.

The deal still needs to be approved by union leaders and members.

If the new contract gets approval from Ford workers, it would set the standard for talks at GM and Stellantis.

“We told Ford to pony up and they did,” UAW President Shawn Fain said.

Mr Fain said the agreement included a 25% wage increase over the four-and-a-half-year life of the contract, with an initial increase of 11%.

The lowest-paid temporary workers would see pay rises of more than 150% over the period. The union also won the right to strike over future Ford plant closures, he added.

Ford chief executive and president Jim Farley said in a statement: “We are 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 line-up to our customers again.”

US President Joe Biden said that he applauded the tentative deal.

“[It] 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,” Mr Biden said.

The strike, which started on 15 September, is the first in the UAW’s 88-year history to target all three carmakers at once.

The union opened talks seeking a roughly 40% rise in pay over four years. Other demands included an end to practices that give newer workers lower pay and fewer benefits.

The companies had maintained that the union’s requests would hurt their ability to invest in the long term. They countered with a roughly 20% pay increase and some other concessions.

The UAW put pressure on the motor industry giants by taking industrial action at the companies’ most profitable plants.

UAW members walked out at dozens of sites, including GM’s Arlington, Texas assembly plant, Ford’s Kentucky heavy-duty pick-up factory and Stellantis’ Ram pickup plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

The announcement came ahead of Ford’s quarterly financial results on Thursday.

The union is still striking at GM and Stellantis.

After the announcement of the tentative agreement between Ford and the UAW, GM and Stellantis said that they were working towards tentative agreements with the union.

The estimated total economic losses from the strike had reached $9.3bn (£7.7bn), research firm the Anderson Economic Group said earlier this week.

Source : BBC