“The Stand Up strike was just the beginning. The UAW is once again setting the standard. Now, we are taking our strike strength and fighting spirit to the rest of the industries we represent, as well as millions of non-union workers ready to stand up and fight for a better way of life,” Fain said in a communicated Monday.
The vote was overwhelming in favor of the contract between Ford and Stellantis workers, but it was closer for General Motors unionized workers. Five major GM plants voted against the deal last week, with some veteran workers expressing opposition to receiving a smaller raise than others.
The contract comes after a long period of paying workers do not follow with inflation, and after the union gave up some of its benefits during the Great Recession, when automakers were struggling to survive. The union managed to regain many of these benefits in the new agreements, including restoring regular cost-of-living wage adjustments to compensate for inflation.
Some workers said they were disappointed that the union had not achieved its goal of restoring defined benefit pensions and health care for all retirees. But the contract increases the company’s contributions to 401(k) accounts to equal 10 percent of a worker’s salary. It also provides more paid leave and gives workers the right to strike if a plant closes during the term of the contract – a right the UAW considers important to protect jobs.