Stellantis and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union have reached a preliminary agreement similar to the one reached this week at Ford, the union reported Saturday, allowing a return to work at that company.
The tentative agreement, reached after a 44-day strike that simultaneously affected Detroit’s Big Three automakers, includes a 25% increase in base wages through 2028, the union said in a statement.
Cost-of-living adjustments will increase the top wage by 33%, to more than $42 an hour.
As with Ford, the preliminary agreement with European giant Stellantis must be approved by a vote of UAW members.
But in the meantime, striking Stellantis workers, like Ford, “will return to work while the agreement goes through the ratification process,” the union said.
The wage increase in the provisional agreement is less than the 40% sought by UAW President Shawn Fain when the union began the strike on September 15, in the first joint walkout in the history of Ford, General Motors and Stellantis.
However, this is more than the 9% increase that Ford, for example, first proposed in August.
President Joe Biden welcomed the deal. “I congratulate the UAW and Stellantis for negotiating in good faith after hard-fought battles to reach a historic agreement that will guarantee workers the pay, benefits, dignity and respect they deserve,” he said in a statement.
“Once again, we’ve achieved what was said to be impossible just a few weeks ago,” Fain said, adding, “we’re starting to change the war on the American working class.”
Stellantis will add about 5,000 jobs over the course of the contract, Fain said, marking a change from the job cuts the automaker sought before the negotiations.
After reaching a tentative agreement with Ford on Wednesday, the UAW said it will encourage employees to return to their jobs to put pressure on General Motors (GM) and Stellantis.
More than 45,000 workers were on strike before the Ford deal, part of a strategy in which the UAW gradually increased the number of factories targeted for strikes in search of better conditions.
GM remains the only manufacturer that has yet to reach an agreement with its strikers. Earlier this week a strike was called at the Arlington (Texas) factory.
None of these agreements are official yet, pending ratification by the union’s rank and file.
Among the details of the agreement with Ford disclosed is an immediate increase of 11% and up to a 25% salary increase until the beginning of 2028. There will also be an adjustment for inflation in hourly compensation.
This Sunday the ratification process will begin with Ford at a meeting of union representatives in Detroit.