Oct 28, 2023 - Economy & Business

UAW reaches tentative deal with Stellantis to end strike

A UAW On Strike sign held on a picket line outside the Stellantis Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, US, on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023.

A picket line outside the Stellantis Sterling Heights Assembly Plant on Oct. 23, 2023. Photographer: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The United Auto Workers union on Saturday announced a tentative contract agreement with Stellantis that would end a six-week strike against the maker of Jeep SUVs and Ram trucks.

Why it matters: The proposed agreement, which comes days after Ford reached a separate deal with the union, brings the historic work stoppage against the Detroit Three one step closer to a complete end.

  • Talks between the UAW and General Motors are continuing — but union leaders announced a new strike at a GM plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee late Saturday shortly after announcing the Stellantis deal.

Details: The UAW saved 5,000 jobs that were going to be eliminated, plus got a commitment from Stellantis to add an additional 5,000 jobs by the end of the agreement in April 2028, union leaders said Saturday.

  • Stellantis agreed to build a mid-sized truck at its recently closed factory in Belvidere, Ill, and is adding 1,000 jobs at a new battery plant also in Belvidere.

Where it stands: The tentative agreements at Ford and Stellantis — and any eventual GM deal — still need to be ratified by 57,000 UAW members at Ford, 43,000 at Stellantis and 46,000 at GM.

  • Union leaders plan to present details of the contracts to members in a Facebook Live event on Sunday, after which they'll have several days to vote yay or nay.
  • Ratification is likely, but not guaranteed.

What they're saying: "Once again, we have achieved what just weeks ago we were told was impossible," UAW President Shawn Fain said in a statement.

  • "At Stellantis in particular, we have not only secured a record contract, we have begun to turn the tide in the war on the American working class."
  • The UAW and Stellantis are "charting a future of good middle-class jobs in battery manufacturing, consistent with the President's vision for a just transition where building a clean economy and creating good union jobs go hand-in-hand," Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Julie A. Su said in a separate statement.

Meanwhile, GM said it's "disappointed" by the UAW's new strike at the company's Spring Hill facility "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."

By the numbers: The six-week strike has been costly for automakers.

  • Earlier this week, GM reported a third-quarter profit of $3.1 billion — but said the strike has already cost the company $800 million, and without a settlement, would cost about $200 million per week going forward.
  • Ford reported lower-than-expected earnings and saide the strike had cost the company about $1.3 billion in lost production.
  • Stellantis is expected to share its third-quarter results next week.

Catch up quick: The UAW, under Fain, used a novel tactic to try to win rich contracts with Detroit automakers after years of concessions.

  • The UAW ordered work stoppages at just a few key factories and parts centers at each company, effectively forcing the automakers to bargain against each other.
  • Historically, the union would target one company for a strike until a deal was reached, and then seek a pattern agreement with the others.

Go deeper: How the UAW strike is affecting workers and the economy

Editor's note: This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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