Ford, Stellantis workers vote to ratify new labor contract

WASHINGTON, Nov (Reuters) – United Auto Workers (UAW) members at Ford Motor (F.N) and Chrysler parent Stellantis NV (STLAM.MI) have voted to ratify a tentative record-setting labor deal, the union’s vote tracker showed on Friday.

The deal had the support of about 68% of Ford and Stellantis members voting. It had a more than a 12,600-vote margin at Ford and a 9,600-vote lead at Stellantis with just a few small locals’ results yet to vote or be reported.

The votes locks in the UAW’s tentative agreement with the Detroit Three automakers through April 2028, which includes a 25% increase in base wages and will cumulatively raise the top wage by 33%, compounded with estimated cost-of-living adjustments to over $42 an hour.

Workers on Thursday at General Motors (GM.N) voted to approve the deal, with about 55% of nearly 36,000 members in favor.

Stellantis, Ford and the UAW did not comment.

The deal includes a $5,000 bonus and an 11% immediate pay hike upon ratification. The contract also hikes wages of current temporary workers by 150% by 2028 and will make them permanent employees.

The agreement also cuts the time needed to get to top pay from eight years to three years.

The new contract follows an unprecedented six-week campaign of coordinated strikes at the Detroit Three automakers.

Ultimately, the union was able to clinch record pay hikes for auto workers after years of stagnant wages and painful concessions following the 2008 financial crisis.

The UAW now plans to turn its focus to organizing non-union auto factories operated by foreign automakers and Tesla (TSLA.O).

When President Joe Biden, a Democrat, visited Illinois last week, he backed the UAW’s efforts to unionize Tesla and Toyota (7203.T), adding that all U.S. auto workers deserve a deal similar to the UAW’s recent agreements with the Detroit Three.

Hyundai Motor (005380.KS), Toyota Motor and Honda Motor (7267.T) have all announced significant wage hikes for U.S. factory workers after the UAW contract deals were announced.

Automakers are looking to trim costs as they make the shift to electric vehicles and face higher hourly labor costs.

Ford has estimated the new contract will add $850 to $900 in labor costs per vehicle.

Stellantis said Monday it was offering 6,400 U.S. salaried employees voluntary buyouts. The buyouts offered are to about half the company’s salaried U.S. employees not represented by a union, which is currently 12,700. Another 2,500 Stellantis U.S. salaried workers are unionized and are not being offered the current buyout.

Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington and Nathan Gomes in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur, Nick Zieminski and Jonathan Oatis