The United Auto Workers union and Stellantis announced a tentative agreement to end the strike on Wednesday, April 14, that had affected more than 46,000 union members at Stellantis’ U.S. plants.
The UAW made the announcement in a late-night statement and the agreement is pending ratification from the union’s bargaining committees.
The landmark agreement was the result of 12 days of negotiations between the UAW and the company. The strike, which began on March 16, was the first to occur at Stellantis’ U.S. plants since 2013 and the largest to occur at the multinational corporation since an 11-day work stoppage in 2005.
The union’s chief negotiator, Dennis Williams, said in a statement, “Our skilled and dedicated bargaining teams worked diligently around the clock to reach an agreement that was worthy of the investment UAW members make in the union and their employers.”
According to the UAW, the tentative agreement includes increases in wages and lump-sum payments and preserves workers’ pensions sick leave and health care benefits. The agreement also includes guardrails to protect workers from accelerated automation, such as “workforce adjustment” language which helped ensure job security for union members.
The strike cost Stellantis approximately $1.2 billion in production, wages and other expenses, with more losses expected in the coming months. The company has said it is reviewing the agreement and will release a statement after it has been discussed with their workers.
For many of the union members, the strike was a way to ensure they can provide for their families. “I’m just proud to be part of a union that fights for workers like me,” said UAW member Angie Smith.
Though a difficult period for both sides, the union felt that the strike was worth it in the end to ensure that their members were being treated with dignity and respect. Williams concluded, “This agreement is a testament to the tremendous strength and solidarity of UAW members.”