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Sparks

The UAW Strike Is Probably Over

The union now has a deal with all of the “Big Three” automakers.

UAW president Shawn Fain.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

The largest, longest strike among American autoworkers in decades is probably over. On Monday, the United Auto Workers reached a tentative agreement with General Motors, according to multiple outlets, meaning that the union now has a deal with all of the “Big Three” American automakers.

While the terms of the GM deal haven’t been released, they will likely resemble those in the UAW’s tentative contracts with Ford and Stellantis, which owns Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram. Those two deals saw many union members get a 25% pay bump, and they eliminated a two-tier wage system at some factories that was put in place after the Great Recession.

The deals also seem to address some — but not all — of workers’ concerns about the EV transition. The Ford deal will let UAW members ask to be transferred to its new electric-vehicle and battery factories in Stanton, Tennessee, and Marshall, Michigan, according to Bloomberg. It will also let workers at that Tennessee plant — an EV-producing “mega-campus” that will be the company’s largest facility ever — join the UAW contract via a “card check,” a type of union election that requires only that a majority of eligible workers sign union-membership cards. Union organizers generally prefer “card check” elections, which are considered simpler and easier to win, to standard union elections administered by the National Labor Relations Board.

The UAW strike began 45 days ago. It is the longest autoworker strike in a quarter century, and the first time in decades that the union struck at all three American companies simultaneously.

The strike won’t officially end until a majority of UAW members at each company ratify their new contract. But the union has already asked workers at Ford and Stellantis to return to work, and production at some factories could resume this week.

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Robinson Meyer

Robinson is the founding executive editor of Heatmap. He was previously a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covered climate change, energy, and technology. Read More

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