The UAW Beats the Big Three
A six-week wave of strikes that hobbled the three largest U.S. automakers has resulted in tentative contract agreements that, if ratified, will give autoworkers their biggest pay raises in decades. On Monday, the UAW and General Motors reached a deal that mirrored agreements the union had reached in recent days with Ford and Stellantis, the parent company of Ram, Jeep and Chrysler.
Like the tentative agreements with Ford and Stellantis, the GM agreement has turned record profits into a record contract. The deal includes gains valued at more than four times the gains from the union’s 2019 contract, and provides more in base wage increases than workers have received in the past 22 years. The deals also include the elimination of divisive wage tiers, the right to strike over future plant closures, and a path to unionize the companies’ electric vehicle plants. The tentative agreements will now be reviewed and voted on by members.
The deals have already had immediate ripple effects, with Toyota quickly announcing that it will boost worker salaries at its non-union plants by 9.2%. The UAW has also announced plans to ramp up organizing efforts at Tesla, and has invited unions across the country to align their contract expirations with the UAW's own in order to maximize worker leverage. Read more in The New York Times, MSNBC, and Mother Jones.