General Motors reaches tentative deal to end strike with UAW

Stellantis came to an agreement with UAW over the weekend.

October 31, 2023, 7:33 AM

General Motors has reached a tentative deal with United Auto Workers to end their strike, GM and the union confirmed Monday.

GM joins Stellantis and Ford, which reached deals in the last week.

The tentative agreements, which must be ratified by union members at each of the respective carmakers, could end the strike against the Big 3 that began last month. The at-times contentious work stoppage thrust UAW President Shawn Fain into the national spotlight and drew support from President Joe Biden.

Tentative agreements struck with Ford, Stellantis and GM each called for a roughly 25% raise over four years, as well as significant improvements on pensions and the right to strike plant closures.

In a statement on Monday, the UAW celebrated the tentative deal with GM, calling it a "historic tentative agreement that paves the way for a just transition and wins record economic gains for autoworkers."

"Like the agreements with Ford and Stellantis, the GM agreement has turned record profits into a record contract," the union added.

United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain addresses the audience during a rally in support of striking UAW members in Detroit, Sept. 15, 2023.
Rebecca Cook/Reuters, FILE

GM CEO Mary Barra, in a separate statement, praised the tentative agreement for striking a balance between the needs of the company and its employees.

"GM is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with the UAW that reflects the contributions of the team while enabling us to continue to invest in our future and provide," Barra said. "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."

President Joe Biden hailed the recent contract agreements at the Big 3 as "historic."

"These agreements ensure the iconic Big 3 can still lead the world in quality and innovation," said Biden, who visited UAW members on the picket lines in Michigan last month. "Due to the commitment and solidarity of UAW workers willing to exercise their right to collectively bargain, they won a record contract."

The automakers had expressed reluctance to meet some demands from the union that they considered ambitious, saying such moves would take investment away from a costly shift to electric vehicles. The companies have also cited the need to compete with non-union competitors.

United Auto Workers (UAW) members strike at a General Motors assembly plant that builds the U.S. automaker's full-size sport utility vehicles, in another expansion of the strike in Arlington, Texas, Oct. 24, 2023.
James Breeden/Reuters

GM, Ford and Stellantis faced pressure to reach a deal as financial losses piled up amid the strike. As of last week, the strike had cost the auto industry an estimated $9.3 billion, according to a report released on Monday by Michigan-based research firm Anderson Economic Group.

In a live-streamed address on Facebook on Sunday, Fain said the recent contract agreements would fuel the UAW's wider ambitions to organize non-union carmakers, including Tesla, Honda and Toyota.

"One of our biggest goals coming out of this historic contract victory is to organize like we've never organized before," Fain said. "When we return to the bargaining table in 2028, it won't just be with the Big 3. It will be the Big 5 or Big 6."

The union, which represents nearly 150,000 autoworkers, launched a work stoppage against the Big 3 carmakers more than a month ago, deploying a "stand-up" strike method to target specific plants and add to the list if a deal wasn't reached. At the peak of the strike, 46,000 employees refused to work.

The UAW sought ambitious demands such as a 40% pay increase combined over the four-year duration of a new contract, as well as a 32-hour workweek at 40-hour pay. Tentative agreements with Ford and Stellantis appeared to fall short of those terms but delivered significant raises and job security protections.

Related Topics