- Members of Chrysler owner Stellantis’ United Auto Workers ratified a new labor contract.
- The contract ratifications come weeks after the automakers and the union reached tentative agreements, ending about six weeks of selective UAW strikes.
- Most Stellantis plants approved the deal, which, like those at GM and Ford, includes wage increases of at least 25%.
Members of the United Auto Workers demonstrate outside the Stellantis Ram 1500 plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, after the union called a strike at the plant on October 23, 2023.
DETROIT – Members of Chrysler owner Stellantis’ United Auto Workers ratified a new labor contract following a historically contentious round of bargaining between the union and the company, according to preliminary results released Friday by the union.
The deal is the second this week for the Detroit automakers. A deal with General Motors received support from 54.7% of UAW-GM members who voted, according to preliminary results. UAW members with Ford Motor are on track to ratify their agreement as well, but will continue voting on Friday.
Most Stellantis facilities overwhelmingly approved the deal, which, like GM and Ford, includes wage increases of at least 25%. It also includes the reopening of an Illinois plant that had been idled indefinitely.
According to the UAW vote tracker, the deal was supported by 68.4% of the more than 26,000 Stellantis auto workers who voted. There were still some smaller facilities left to finish voting, but there are not enough employees at those locations to make up the roughly 9,650-vote margin.
The deal with Stellantis was met with notable objections at the automaker’s Jeep plants in Toledo, with 55% of workers there opposing the deal. Other major assembly plants overwhelmingly supported the pact.
Both the UAW and Stellantis declined to comment on the results until they are finalized.
The contract ratifications come weeks after the automakers and the union reached tentative agreements, ending about six weeks of selective UAW strikes.
The agreements mark a record for the union, which was much more confrontational and strategic during the talks than in recent history.
The union entered negotiations with all three automakers at once, breaking a recent pattern of bargaining with each automaker individually, selecting a lead company on which to focus efforts and modeling the remaining agreements after that main tentative agreement. .
When no agreements were reached by the September 14 deadline, the union launched selective strikes, plant by plant, as a way to keep companies off guard and be able to increase pressure when necessary.
At the height of the work stoppages, approximately 40% of the then 146,000 UAW members covered by the agreements were on strike or laid off due to the stoppages.
The new contracts incorporate groups of workers, such as battery employees and others, who were not included in previous agreements. It is not immediately clear how the new agreements will cover UAW members.
For the union and UAW President Shawn Fain, the agreements represent significant economic gains; a path to ensure future jobs for union rank and file, like those battery plants; and a springboard for organizing efforts at other non-union automakers operating in the U.S., a primary goal for Fain moving forward.
The union said the improvements in the deal are valued at more than four times the gains from the 2019 contract and provide more base pay increases than workers have received in the past 22 years.
For both companies and their investors, the contracts represent the maximum of expected increases in labor costs. While automakers have repeatedly criticized the union’s tactics, including six weeks of targeted strikes, they should be able to withstand the cost increases. That’s not to say they won’t look to offset increases elsewhere through future investments, restructurings and other means.