The United Auto Workers (UAW) and Ford have reached a tentative agreement this week that could end a weeks-long strike at the automaker. This agreement follows similar ones reached with General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles at the beginning of October.
The strike, which began with picketing at Ford Motor Company factories began on September 16, 2019 and involved 48,000 UAW members.The strike was one of the longest national labor strikes at the company since 1970 and did not have a set duration. Negotiations between the UAW and Ford began on September 28, 2019.
The negotiations focused on wages, healthcare, temporary employee wage classifications and gain sharing issues. In addition, the UAW also sought changes to Ford’s product development and manufacturing decisions.
With the tentative agreement, the UAW and Ford have reached several compromises on wages and benefits. There is a commitment from Ford to create or retain 8,500 jobs in the United States, with a $6 billion investment in current factories and the possibility of opening a new plant in Detroit. Temporary employees will be on a path to permanent employment, and jobs classified as “temporary” will see a wage increase of around $2 per hour on average.
It is expected that the UAW will begin balloting their members soon and, if approved, the strike should end shortly. The resolution of this strike speaks to the importance of strong unions and labor organizing in our economy. This tentative agreement is a beneficial step forward for workers at the Big Three Automaker, Ford.