Stellantis reaches an agreement with the automobile union

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Stellantis and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union reached a preliminary agreement like the one reached this week with Ford, the union reported on Saturday, allowing a return to work at that company.

The provisional agreement, reached after 44 days of strike that simultaneously affected the "Big Three" Detroit automakers, includes a 25% increase in base wages by 2028, the union said in a statement.

Cost-of-living adjustments will cumulatively increase the maximum wage by 33%, to exceed $42 per hour.

As with Ford, the preliminary agreement with the European giant Stellantis will have to be ratified by a vote of UAW members.

But in the meantime, striking Stellantis workers, like those at 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% that UAW President Shawn Fain sought when the union began the strike on September 15, in the first simultaneous walkout in history at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis.

However, it is well above the 9% increase that Ford, for example, initially proposed in August.
President Joe Biden welcomed the agreement.

"I congratulate the UAW and Stellantis for negotiating in good faith after hard fights 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 have achieved what just a few weeks ago we were told was impossible," Fain said, adding, "we have begun to turn the tide in the war against the American working class."

Stellantis will add about 5,000 jobs over the course of the contract, Fain said, marking a turnaround from job cuts the automaker sought before the negotiations.

After reaching the provisional agreement with Ford on Wednesday, the UAW had stated that it would encourage employees to return to their jobs in order to pressure General Motors (GM) and Stellantis.

More than 45,000 workers were on strike before the deal with Ford, 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 not yet reached an agreement with its strikers. Earlier this week a strike was called at its Arlington (Texas) factory.

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