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.
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