Michigan has been in the headlines as the United Auto Worker Union (UAW) made history with strike against the big three (GM, Ford and Stellantis). After several weeks of tough negotiations, headlines and political figures stopping into town the last hold out GM has made a tentative deal with the UAW.
At the beginning, UAW President Shawn Fain warned of a more combative union heading into the talks. To the surprise of many the union was able to strategically outmaneuver the companies leading to record deals for 146,000 UAW members with GM, Ford Motor and Stellantis.
While full details of the finalized deals are still emerging, they set 25% compounded raises over the 4½-year agreements, including an 11% increase upon ratification; reinstatement of cost-of-living adjustments; increased 401(k) company contributions; and enhanced profit-sharing bonuses. This will be a huge win for the middle class as UAW workers gave back many of their benefits to help these companies through the Great Recession. However, as these companies racked up the profits post recession they never willingly gave back to the employees who helped them out.
These deals are still tentative since the UAW members must still vote to ratify the agreements. In the cases of GM and Stellantis, local union leaders must also approve the deals before member voting.
There are some clear winners of these deals and I’m hoping to see a larger labor movement we’re employees take back some of the power from employers. For too long we have been taken advantage of by corporations and 1%.