GM was the last of the Big Three to reach a tentative agreement with the UAW, on Monday. The union's historic deal with Ford was reached last Wednesday, while the deal with Stellantis was reached on Saturday. All workers have been asked to return to work as they vote on ratifying the tentative agreements.
UAW President Shawn Fain announced the GM deal in a social media video alongside UAW Vice President Mike Booth. The agreement is comparable to the deal reached with Ford and Stellantis, and will be in effect until April 30, 2028.
It includes a 25% increase in workers' base wage over a four-year period; employees will receive an immediate pay raise of 11% upon ratification. The contract will also set top pay at more than $42 an hour, end controversial pay tiers, bring two new battery plants under the union’s Master Agreement, and more.
"Once again, we have won several astonishing victories," Fain said. "The result is one of the most stunning contract victories since the sit-down strikes in the 1930s."
Workers are relieved to get back to work after surviving on $500 a week during the six-week stand-up strike that involved about 46,000 UAW members.
"When I woke up this morning I had a text that said we have a possible tentative agreement, so I mean I was happy to see that when I woke up," said Eric Price, a GM worker and president of UAW Local 651 outside of Flint. "I know a lot of the people who are still in progression who have less years than me, they’re all for it. They like that number – that percentage. For people like me, I have 17 years in, it’s a bit of a bump."
CEO Mary Barra, the GM Chair confirmed the tentative agreement with the UAW in a statement on Monday.
"We are looking forward to having everyone back to work across all of our operations, delivering great products for our customers, and winning as one team," Barra said.
Alan Amici, who oversees the Center for Automotive Research, anticipates that all three agreements will be approved by the rank and file.
"The Ford committee had approved the deal and they’re going to send it to the rank and file now for an upcoming vote," Amici said. "That would be my expectation that the same happens for Stellantis and General Motors. Sure, there certainly could be some surprises in there, but I expect – I think they've got a pretty good deal and I expect they’ll be happy to ratify it and get moving again."
(Provided by the United Auto Workers)
On a broader scale, economists estimate that the American auto industry, which suffered a loss of over $10 billion during the six-week strike, is eager to resume full production. However, supply chain experts caution that the process of restarting operations will pose challenges.
"The suppliers are struggling." said Jan Griffiths, a former auto supply chain executive. "We have seen that from the very beginning. Now the suppliers are facing even more increase on the wages to bring people back (to) work. Turning the supply chain on is not something that happens overnight. There will be pain."
Although the agreements bring positive outcomes, they "come at a substantial cost," said Detroit Regional Chamber President and Chief Executive Sandy Baruah following the announcement of the GM deal.
"These agreements place additional competitive pressures on our companies and the state," Baruah said. "These agreements will increase the cost of vehicles made by UAW workers by hundreds, even a thousand dollars, and make competing companies' offerings more attractive. As the home of the Detroit Three and the most automotive manufacturing, Michigan will have to work overtime to send the message that it is open for business."
President Joe Biden congratulated the UAW and GM for coming together and reaching a historic deal.
"With this landmark agreement with GM, the UAW has now reached historic tentative agreements with all of the Big Three American automakers," Biden said in the statement. "This historic tentative agreement rewards the autoworkers who have sacrificed so much with the record raises, more paid leave, greater retirement security, and more rights and respect at work."