The United Auto Workers (UAW) strike began at the Ford Michigan Assembly plant back in mid-September, after which it expanded to include the Chicago Assembly plant and Kentucky Assembly plant. However, Ford later reached a tentative deal with the union that includes a massive product investment from the automaker, and a few days later, its Detroit Big Three counterparts, General Motors and Stellantis, followed suit. However, UAW members must still vote on the tentative deal before it can officially take effect, and that process began recently as the Michigan Assembly plant, Buffalo Stamping plant, and Kansas City Assembly plant all approved the deal by a large margin. Now, those workers have been joined by the ones at the Chicago Assembly plant, according to Mike Martinez of Automotive News.
These results are particularly notable in that Local 551 typically votes against TAs.
For example, in 2019, 62% of production workers voted against the deal. In 2015, 67% voted it down.
The local says this is the first “yes” vote since 2003. An important flip for Fain & Co. https://t.co/sc8sDQDNZz
— Michael Martinez (@MikeMartinez_AN) November 8, 2023
In Chicago, 55 percent of all production workers voted in favor of the tentative agreement, along with 73 percent of skilled trades workers. According to Martinez, these numbers are significant as the local UAW 551 at this particular plant has historically voted against tentative agreements, which was the case with the most recent proposal back in 2019, and it hasn’t voted in favor of one since 2003.
Regardless, these figures are still behind the 62.9 percent of UAW workers at the Kansas City plant who voted in favor of the new tentative contract agreement, while 78 percent of all production workers at the Buffalo Stamping plant voted in favor of the tentative contract, along with 80 percent of skilled trades workers, and 81 percent of production workers and 90 percent of skilled trades workers at MAP voted to approve the new deal between the UAW and Ford.
The details of Ford’s tentative agreement with the UAW include a 25 percent general pay increase across the lifespan of the contract, as well as the aforementioned multi-billion dollar investment on the automaker’s part into its current and future plants and products, plus various other concessions. Additionally, the old eight-year wage progression has been reduced to three years, while those with three or more years of service will automatically be bumped up to top pay if the deal is ratified. Cost of living adjustments will also make a return after they went away back in 2009 during the recession, and temporary employees will become full-time after 90 days of service once/if the deal if ratified, with future temp hires hitting that point in nine months.