The United Auto Workers on Monday reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract with General Motors, a move that is expected to end the union’s six-week strike against Detroit’s Big 3 automakers.
The deal features a 25% wage increase across a four-and-a-half year deal with cost of living adjustments, the Associated Press reported. The deal mirrors a tentative agreement UAW leaders reached last week .
The GM agreement still needs ratification from the union’s national council and a majority of members, but an approval likely would mean employees will return to work at some point in November.
The deal comes a day after GM workers expanded their strike by walking out of a company factory in Spring Hill, Tennessee, that employs nearly 4,000 and that produces Cadillac and GMC SUVs. Spring Hill joined about 14,000 other GM workers who were already striking at company factories in Texas, Michigan and Missouri.
GM was the last of the Big 3 to ink a deal with the UAW.
“In a twist on the phrase ‘collective bargaining,’ the UAW’s strategy to negotiate with and strike at the three automakers simultaneously paid off with seemingly strong agreements at all three organizations,” Lynne Vincent, a business management professor at Syracuse University and labor expert, told CBS MoneyWatch. “Once a deal was reached at Ford, the UAW could use that agreement as the pattern for the other two automakers, which gave the UAW leverage to apply pressure on the automakers.”
Mike Huerta, president of UAW Local 602 in Lansing, Michigan, was hesitant to celebrate the deal before seeing more information, saying that “the devil’s in the details.”
“Our bargainers did their job. They’re going to present us with something and then we get to tell them it was good enough or it wasn’t,” he said.
The UAW launched its historic strike — the first time the labor group has targeted the Big Three simultaneously — last month when thousands of workers walked off the job after their contracts with the automakers expired on Sept. 14.
The union’s initial demands included a 36% wage hike over four years; annual cost-of-living adjustments; pension benefits for all employees; greater job security; and a faster path to full-time status for temporary workers.
Thousands of GM employees joined the work stoppage in recent weeks,, the company’s largest factory.
GM and the other automakers responded to the strike by laying off hundreds of unionized, non-striking workers. GM laid off roughly 2,500 employees across Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, New York and Ohio, according to a company tally. It’s unclear if GM will invite those employees back to work if the new UAW contract is finalized.
The UAW strike caused an estimated $4.2 billion in losses to the Big 3 and resulted in $488 million in lost wages for workers. The work stoppage also rippled and caused layoffs at auto supplier companies.
But the dispute also led to breakthroughs, with GM earlier this month agreeing to place itsunder a national contract with the UAW.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.