UAW strike: Why Ford employees are going back to work before agreement vote

Striking UAW members who work at Ford returned to their jobs Thursday after about six weeks on the picket line.

This return to work comes after the union and automaker reached a tentative agreement Wednesday night. That agreement includes a 25% wage increase for permanent employees, a 150% raise for temp workers, higher starting wages, and more.


What's inside Ford's tentative deal with the UAW

After about six weeks on strike, the UAW and Ford Motor Co. reached a tentative deal Wednesday night. It includes wage increases, pension improvements, increased top wages, and more.

However, that deal is just that - tentative. It still has to go through the ratification process, which includes two rounds of voting. If the deal doesn't get enough votes, the union and Ford will be back at the bargaining table, while workers will be back on the picket line.

So, why are UAW members going back to work if the agreement isn't official?

The union says this move is to put pressure on Stellantis and General Motors.

Read more UAW strike news. 

"Like everything we’ve done in this Stand Up Strike, this is a strategic move to get the best deal possible," UAW Vice President Chuck Browning said. "We’re going back to work at Ford to keep the pressure on Stellantis and GM; the last thing they want is for Ford to get back to full capacity while they mess around and lag behind."

While union members at Michigan Assembly, Kentucky Truck Plant, and Chicago Assembly get back to work, the UAW National Ford Council is preparing to vote to send the agreement to members.

(Provided by UAW)

The council is planning to meet Sunday for this vote. If approved, a Facebook Live will be held to detail the tentative agreement to membership. After, UAW members will attend informational meetings about the contract and vote. 

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