UAW ratifies contracts with all three Detroit automakers

The new deals mean that Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota are raising their workers’ wages to stay competitive as well

Members of the United Auto Workers union (UAW) have ratified their contracts with all three of the Detroit-based automakers, bringing a final end to strike action that started on September 15 after negotiations during the summer failed to come to agreements.

The members voted to accept the contract with Stellantis by a 68.8-per-cent margin, while those at Ford voted 69.3 per cent in favour of ratification. Workers at General Motors late last week had voted in favour of their contract, but by a narrower 55 per cent.

You are reading: UAW ratifies contracts with all three Detroit automakers

The union gains in the contracts at all three were roughly the same, and included wage increases, job security, an end to wage tiers, less time needed on the job to reach maximum wages, and reinstatement of benefits the union said it forfeited as part of the automakers’ restructuring during the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009, including cost-of-living allowance and adjustments to benefits and pensions.

In addition, the automakers have agreed “in principle” to bring any new battery plants they open into the UAW’s national contract, and the Stellantis contract included bringing a shuttered auto plant back into production. All of these newly-ratified contracts will expire in April 2028.

The UAW has traditionally targeted one of the three automakers at a time and, if negotiations failed, went on strike against all of its facilities. When a contract was ratified, it would be used as the template for the remaining two automakers.

This time, for the first time ever, the union used a tactic it called a “Stand Up Strike.” It targeted all three Detroit automakers at once, but when talks broke down with any of them, workers walked off the job only at specific factories. The UAW said this allowed it to increase pressure as needed by striking at a progressive number of factories, while maintaining the cash in its strike fund for a longer period.

While plants operated by foreign-based automakers in the U.S. generally aren’t unionized, it’s reported that Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota have raised their wages in the wake of the UAW action. As with the union contract, these companies will increase wages annually, until they reach a 25-per-cent hike over current wages by 2028.

United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain joins UAW members as they go on strike at the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant on September 15, 2023 in Wayne, Michigan
United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain joins UAW members as they go on strike at the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant on September 15, 2023 in Wayne, MichiganPhoto by Bill Pugliano /Getty

The increase seems to have been driven by UAW president Shawn Fain’s announcement that the UAW would “aggressively” try to unionize those plants, according to the Associated Press. Fain also said that while the wage increase is similar for non-unionized workers at those plants, the UAW members at the Detroit automakers will receive “far better health care and retirement benefits.” Fain said he also plans to try to unionize Tesla’s factory workers.

The AP report also said that Detroit automakers lost millions in revenue during the strikes and had cut costs in advance of absorbing the increased costs of the contracts. Ford reported to the news agency that labour costs would rise by US$850 to $900 per vehicle with the terms of the settlement.

Unifor, which represents auto workers at the Detroit-based auto plants in Canada, pursued the traditional bargaining methods rather than the Stand Up Strike. It ratified its contracts with Ford in September; with General Motors in October; and with Stellantis in early November. On November 16, followed a brief strike action, Unifor also reached a tentative agreement with auto parts manufacturer Magna.

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Jil McIntosh

Jil McIntosh specializes in new-car reviews, auto technology and antique cars, including the two 1940s vehicles in her garage. She is currently a freelance Writer at since 2016


· Professional writer for more than 35 years, appearing in some of the top publications in Canada and the U.S.

· Specialties include new-vehicle reviews, old cars and automotive history, automotive news, and “How It Works” columns that explain vehicle features and technology

· Member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) since 2003; voting member for AJAC Canadian Car of the Year Awards; juror on the Women’s World Car of the Year Awards


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Jil McIntosh graduated from East York Collegiate in Toronto, and then continued her education at the School of Hard Knocks. Her early jobs including driving a taxi in Toronto; and warranty administration in a new-vehicle dealership, where she also held information classes for customers, explaining the inner mechanical workings of vehicles and their features.


Jil McIntosh is a freelance writer who has been writing for since 2016, but she’s been a professional writer starting when most cars still had carburetors. At the age of eleven, she had a story published in the defunct Toronto Telegram newspaper, for which she was paid $25; given the short length of the story and the dollar’s buying power at the time, that might have been the relatively best-paid piece she’s ever written.

An old-car enthusiast who owns a 1947 Cadillac and 1949 Studebaker truck, she began her writing career crafting stories for antique-car and hot-rod car club magazines. When the Ontario-based newspaper Old Autos started up in 1987, dedicated to the antique-car hobby, she became a columnist starting with its second issue; the newspaper is still around and she still writes for it. Not long after the Toronto Star launched its Wheels section in 1986 – the first Canadian newspaper to include an auto section – she became one of its regular writers. She started out writing feature stories, and then added “new-vehicle reviewer” to her resume in 1999. She stayed with Wheels, in print and later digital as well, until the publication made a cost-cutting decision to shed its freelance writers. She joined the very next day.

In addition to, she writes for industry-focused publications, including Automotive News Canada and Autosphere. Over the years, her automotive work also appeared in such publications as Cars & Parts, Street Rodder, Canadian Hot Rods, AutoTrader, Sharp, Taxi News, Maclean’s, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes Wheels, Canadian Driver, Sympatico Autos, and Reader’s Digest. Her non-automotive work, covering such topics as travel, food and drink, rural living, fountain pen collecting, and celebrity interviews, has appeared in publications including Harrowsmith, Where New Orleans, Pen World, The Book for Men, Rural Delivery, and Gambit.

Major awards won by the author

2016 AJAC Journalist of the Year; Car Care Canada / CAA Safety Journalism award winner in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013, runner-up in 2021; Pirelli Photography Award 2015; Environmental Journalism Award 2019; Technical Writing Award 2020; Vehicle Testing Review award 2020, runner-up in 2022; Feature Story award winner 2020; inducted into the Street Rodding Hall of Fame in 1994.

Contact info

Email: [email protected]



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