The United Automobile Workers union reached a tentative agreement with General Motors on Monday, following similar deals in recent days with Ford Motor and Stellantis, parent company of Ram, Chrysler and Jeep.
Together, the agreements are expected to end a six-week strike by the unions of the Big Three Detroit automakers.
Here’s what you need to know about benefits for employees, the next steps in the bargaining process and the union’s goals for workers at other automakers.
What do union workers get?
The agreements for workers at all three automakers include a provision for a 25 percent wage increase over the next four and a half years and cost-of-living adjustments so that inflation does not erode wage gains.
At Ford, starting pay will increase 68 percent, while the top rate will increase 33 percent, from $32 to more than $42 an hour. The tiered pay system, which allows companies to pay new workers much less than experienced workers, was eliminated at two plants. Temporary workers will earn 150 percent more during the agreement, and retirement pay will be increased for current retirees, members with pensions and members with 401(k) plans.
Full details for GM and Stellantis have not yet been released, but the benefits are expected to be in line with the Ford agreement.
what happens next?
The councils of Stellantis and GM still need to decide whether to send the agreement to members. (Ford’s council approved the tentative contract Sunday.) The agreements must then be approved by a majority of each automaker’s union members. When workers reached an agreement to end their strike against GM in 2019, it took nine days for them to ratify it.
Striking workers at all three automakers have begun or will soon begin returning to work while the agreements are considered for ratification.
What about non-union workers, or workers in battery factories?
UAW President Shawn Fenn announced this month that GM’s battery plants, which are owned through a joint venture, would be covered by a national labor contract negotiated by both parties. The union also said its agreement with Ford would make it relatively easy for workers at the company’s battery plants to join the UAW.
Mr Fenn has also said he wants to organize workers at car and battery plants owned by Tesla, which dominates the fast-growing electric car market, and foreign-owned automakers such as Toyota, Honda and BMW.
Many established and new companies have built or are building plants in southern states such as Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia, partly to take advantage of federal incentives authorized there. Inflation Reduction Act, BMW, which has a plant in Spartanburg, S.C., broke ground on a new battery plant in the state in June.
The UAW has not successfully organized any plants owned by any major automaker in the South, although it represents workers at several heavy truck manufacturers’ facilities. Ford and GM also have auto plants in Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas where the UAW represents workers.
“When we return to the bargaining table in 2028, it won’t just be with the Big Three,” Mr Fenn said on Sunday. “It will be the Big Five or the Big Six.”