UAW Contracts Include Common Benefits, Unique Terms

The UAW’s tentative contracts with Ford, General Motors and Stellantis all include an immediate 11% wage increase and a 25% raise across the 4.5-year life of the contract, plus restoration of the cost-of-living allowance after more than a decade.

Joseph Szczesny

November 6, 2023

5 Min Read
Ford Michigan Truck Local 900 screenshot
UAW Local 900 members at Ford’s Michigan Truck Plant OK tentative deal with automaker by wide margin.

The tentative agreements negotiated by the UAW include unique provisions for Ford, General Motors and Stellantis tailored by negotiators from each company while encompassing a pattern with wage increases, cost-of-living allowance and pension improvements.

Some examples:

  • The proposed contract at Stellantis includes, for the first time, a provision allowing hourly and salaried employees to lease one of the company’s vehicles under terms that include unlimited mileage, registration and plates, tire repair and replacement, 24/7 roadside assistance, no credit check, a new vehicle every year and lease payments through payroll.

  • At GM, the tentative contract includes a provision that allows employees who once worked at the company’s Lordstown Assembly Plant to transfer to the new Ultium battery plant near Lordstown in Warren, OH. At GM’s Toledo (OH) Propulsion Plant alone more than 250 employees will have the right to transfer back to the Lordstown area.

  • The union’s contract with Ford opens the door for employees to transfer to the company’s new Tennessee Electric Vehicles Center complex near Memphis. Employees at the Dearborn Truck Plant and Rouge Electric Vehicles Center, both in Michigan, will have the right to relocate to the TEVC. Additionally, facilities with surplus employees will be eligible for voluntary transfers. Ford employees also will have the right to shift to jobs at the new battery plant in Marshall, MI.

All three contracts include a 25% wage increase across the 4.5 years of the contract, restoration of the cost-of-living allowance after more than a decade and a shortening of the wage progression – the amount of service time needed to move to a higher pay grade – to three years from eight years.

The combination of an immediate 11% pay increase and revamping of the progression, coupled with the elimination of wage tiers, means hundreds of workers at all three companies will see their wages double from $18 per hour to $35 per hour as they move from temporary status to the top step of progression if they have been employed by the automaker for three years.

All employees are eligible for a $5,000 ratification bonus at GM, Ford and Stellantis. It is the first time temporary employees will receive the bonus. Temps also will be eligible for profit sharing for the first time.

The emphasis on improving lower-tier workers’ pay means smaller gains at the top of the scale, which has created some grumbling on social media and vows to vote no on the tentative agreements. But the early returns from the ratification voting indicate the proposed contracts are popular with members and winning by roughly four to one.

Salaried employees at all three companies also will get a 25% pay increase.

Employees hired before 2007 at all three companies will see their pensions improve by five dollars per month per year of credited service or about $1,800 per year when they retire.

Employees hired after 2007 will get increases in company contributions equal to 10% of their wages to the employee’s individual 401(K) retirement account.

All three companies will offer early retirement to some long-term employees, according to the union.

The UAW also says retirees and surviving spouses at all three companies will receive $500 payments each year over the length of the contract. It is the first adjustment for the pensioners in nearly two decades.

The union says GM, Ford and Stellantis all are committing to invest in new products, including several battery-electric vehicles.

GM plans to keep several factories busy building new BEVs. In addition to producing the Cadillac Lyriq, the Spring Hill Assembly Plant in Tennessee will manufacture one new BEV for GM and one for a future partner.

An electric fullsize SUV will be built at GM's Factory Zero in Detroit (pictured, below), a designated electric-vehicle center. GM plans to invest $4 billion in the assembly plant in Orion Township, MI. The company already has announced the plant will build electric versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra fullsize pickup trucks.

GMC Hummer Factory Zero.jpg

GMC Hummer Factory Zero

GM also will build future BEVs at both its Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, KS, and its Grand River Assembly Plant in Lansing, MI.

At Stellantis, where UAW President Shawn Fain says $19 billion in expected new investment will add 5,000 jobs during the life of the contract, plans call for BEV versions of the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer large SUVs at Warren Truck in Warren, MI, as well as a BEV version of the Ram at the plant in Sterling Heights, MI.

Stellantis also plans to build the next generation of the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs as well as their electric versions at assembly plants in Detroit.

Ford, according to contract highlights released by the UAW, will invest $8.1 billion at its factories during the life of the contract, including at least three new electric vehicles. A new electric truck will be built in a BEV plant inside Ford's Rouge complex in its hometown of Dearborn, MI.

At the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, KY, Ford will add gas-electric hybrid versions of the Expedition and Lincoln Navigator large SUVs. Another assembly plant in Louisville that now makes Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair small SUVs will get an unspecified new electric vehicle.

The Ohio Assembly Plant near Cleveland will build a new battery-electric van in addition to the medium-duty trucks and van chassis it now produces. An unspecified new vehicle will be built at a factory in Flat Rock, MI.

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