United Auto Workers Ratify New Labor Contract

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
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united auto workers ratify new labor contract

Despite several large facilities voting against the UAW labor contract negotiated with Detroit automakers, the deal has been ratified by union members from both General Motors and Stellantis. This is based on the UAW’s own vote tracker and has put to bed any serious fears that GM might have to reenter negotiations.

While Ford’s voting hasn’t yet reached the point where we can say anything definitive, its negotiations with the union also went the best. The Blue Oval offered sweeter deals than rival automakers and sooner, too. It’s on the brink of ratification and may even have reached that point by the time you’re reading this.

General Motors’ unionized employees ratified their contract by 54.7 percent, which was quite a bit closer than what we’ve seen from the other companies. Roughly 70 percent of workers at Stellantis had voted to ratify the deal by Friday morning. While the automaker technically still has several plants that have yet to conclude voting, yay votes had pulled so far ahead of the nays that it’s now mathematically impossible for the contract not to move forward.

Ford’s margin for victory will be a little leaner and hinge primarily on the results of UAW Local 600, representing workers at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan and several part facilities. But, with nearly 69 percent of workers voting yes, it would be a real shock to see a different outcome. An extremely large percentage of the remaining UAW members would need to vote no on the contracts today and the odds of that happening are exceptionally low.

While there are some slight differences between the individual contracts, all three include wage increases of 25 percent through 2028. Most workers are also getting an immediate pay bump hovering around 10 percent and a few thousand in bonus pay upon ratification. Contracts likewise restore cost-of-living adjustments and retirement benefits lost by the union after 2008.

A full breakdown of the contracts will be available once voting has been deemed official. While the voting data comes directly from the UAW, it has yet to confirm things as settled. Automakers are similarly declining to make any comments on the matter at this juncture. But it seems a done deal based on the information at our disposal.

GM leaders are planning to hold an investor meeting after the deal is ratified to go over the financial implications for the company. This is assumed to take place sometime next week, with Ford and Stellantis following suit. Our guess is that the companies might use union compensation to rationalize price bumps or having to tweak investments. However, there was plenty of that going on before the UAW strike and it will be difficult determining between valid excuses and the regular kind.

Regardless, expect sustained bragging from the UAW. Union leaders have said the new contract provides more value to workers in each year of the agreement than in the entirety of the last four-year contract signed in 2019. This will also be used to try and tempt workers from non-union facilities the UAW would very much like to see join its ranks.

[Image: UAW]

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Matt Posky
Matt Posky

Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.

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5 of 45 comments
  • Abraham Abraham on Nov 19, 2023

    Does anyone have reliable data on the total cost of labor in a new car? What percentage of the price of a new car constitutes labor? Cuz I’m thinking it’s not all that significant.

    And Jesus Christ, all this hatred for people trying to get a better deal for themselves. Should the manufacturers have all the leverage and just pay what they please, race to the bottom? Dead coal miners with black lung would like to have a word with you. But I suspect all the commenters complaining are sitting at home, living off their gub’mint pensions…

    • See 1 previous
    • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Nov 20, 2023

      My opinion of unions at private companies is that if companies have screwed over their workers to the point where they feel they need bargaining power, more power to them. Public employee unions are the opposite..... they are a scourge that needs to be removed like a cancer (with a carveout for those working directly in public safety - firemen, police, traffic - and not the administrative support - just those working 'in the field'). I have no doubt that at one point, they made sense. That hasn't been true for decades. There is no reason that average AT BEST teachers should be making 150k. I don't care how much experience they have if they suck at their jobs.

  • Redapple2 Redapple2 on Nov 20, 2023

    UAW still get profit sharing? It has average ~~ $10,000/yr - for the last 3 years - at each of the Big 3. If yes - Geez. That ll be ~ $90,000 for turning a nut on a blt.

    • Bullnuke Bullnuke on Nov 21, 2023

      That little profit sharing factoid was left out of all of the media discussions concerning wages during the recent organized labor exercise. That chunk of money given each member is not insignificant.

  • 285exp If the conversion to EVs was really so vital to solve an existential climate change crisis, it wouldn’t matter whether they were built by US union workers or where the batteries and battery materials came from.
  • El scotto Another EBPosky, "EVs are Stoopid, prove to me water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius" article.It was never explained if the rural schools own the buses or if the school bus routes are contracted out. If the bus routes are contracted out, will Carpenter or Bluebird offer an electric school bus? Flexmatt never stated the range of brand-unspecified school bus. Will the min-mart be open at the end of the 179-mile drive? No cell coverage? Why doesn't the bus driver have an emergency sat phone?Two more problems Mr. Musk could solve.
  • RICK Long time Cadillac admirer with 89 Fleetwood Brougham deElegance and 93 Brougham, always liked Eldorado until downsized after 76. Those were the days. Sad to see what now wears Cadillac name.
  • Carsofchaos Bike lanes are in use what maybe 10 to 12 hours a day? The other periods of the day they aren't in use whatsoever. A bike can carry one person and a vehicle can carry multiple people. It's very simple math to figure out that a bike lane in no way shape or form will handle more people than cars will.The bigger issue is double parked delivery vehicles. They are often double parked and taking up lanes because there are cars parked on the curb. You combine that with a bike lane and pedestrians Crossing wherever they feel like it and it's a recipe for disaster. I think if we could just go back to two lanes of traffic things would flow much better. I started coming to the city in 2003 before a lot of these bike lanes were implemented and the traffic is definitely much worse now than it was back then. Sadly at this point I don't really think there is a solution but I can guarantee that congestion pricing will not fix this problem.
  • Charles When I lived in Los Angeles I saw a 9-5 a few times and instanly admired the sweeping low slug aerodynamic jet tech influenced lines and all that beautiful glass. The car was very different from what I expected from a Saab even though the 900 Turbo was nice. A casual lady friend had a Saab Sonnet, never drove or rode in it but nonetheless chilled my enthusiasm and I eventually forgot about Saabs. In the following years I have had seven Mercedes's, three or four Jaguars even two Daimlers both the 250 V-8 and the massive and powerful Majestic Major. Daily drivers of a brand new 300ZX 2+2 and Lincolns, plus a few diesel trucks. Having moved to my big farm in central New York, trucks and SUV's are the standard, even though I have a Mercedes S500 in one of my barns. Due to circumstances with my Ford Explorer and needing a second driver I found the 2006 9-5 locally. Very little surface rust, none undercarriage, original owner, garage kept, wife driver and all the original literature and a ton of paid receipts and history. The car just turned 200,000 miles and I love it. Feels new like I'm back in my Nissan 300ZX with a lot more European class and ready power with the awesome turbo. So fun to drive, the smooth power and torque is incredible! Great price paid to justify going through the car and giving her everything she needs, i.e., new tires, battery, all shocks, struts, control arms, timing chain and rust removable to come, plus more. The problem now is I want to restore it and likely put it in my concrete barn and only drive in good weather. As to the writer, Alex Dykes, I take great exception calling the 9-5 Saab "ugly," finding myself looking back at her beauty and uniqueness. Moreover, I get new looks from others not quite recognizing, like the days out west with my more expensive European cars. There are Saabs eclipsing 300K rourinely and one at a million miles and I believe one car with 500K on the original engine. So clearly, this is a keeper, in love already with my SportCombi. I want to be in that elite club.