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UAW strike: Stellantis and union agree pay rise in tentative deal

Chrysler maker Stellantis has struck a tentative pay deal with the United Auto Workers union to end a six-week strike.

The agreement, which still needs to be approved by union leaders and members, follows a similar deal that was struck with Ford last week.

The UAW began strikes against GM, Ford and Stellantis in September, the first time in the union’s history it has targeted all three firms at once.

It has yet to reach a deal with GM and is expanding action against the firm.

The agreement between the UAW and Stellantis will see wages for most workers rise by 25% over the next four-and-a-half-years.

The union also said that the lowest-paid workers at Stellantis would see wages rise by more than 165% over the period of the agreement.

Stellantis workers will return to work while the deal is ratified, the union said.

“Once again, we have achieved what just weeks ago we were told was impossible,” said UAW president Shawn Fain.

The union also said that the deal would see Stellantis reopen an assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois, which closed earlier this year.

In addition, the UAW said the carmaker had also agreed to build a new battery plant next to the existing Belvidere factory.

“Eight months ago, Stellantis idled Belvidere Assembly Plant, putting 1,200 of our members on the street,” said UAW vice president Rich Boyer.

“From the strength of our strike, we are bringing back those jobs and more. Stellantis is reopening the plant and the company will also be adding over 1,000 jobs at a new battery plant in Belvidere.”

Stellantis North America chief operating officer Mark Stewart said: “I would like to thank all the negotiating teams who have worked tirelessly for many weeks to get to this point.

“We look forward to welcoming our 43,000 employees back to work and resuming operations.”

US President Joe Biden welcomed the agreement.

“I applaud the UAW and Stellantis for coming together after hard-fought, good-faith negotiations to reach a historic agreement that will guarantee workers the pay, benefits, dignity and respect they deserve,” he said in a statement.

GM action

While the UAW has now reached tentative agreements with Ford and Stellantis to end the strike action, it has yet to reach a deal with General Motors.

On Saturday, the union said it would extend its strike against GM to the company’s plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee.

“We are disappointed by GM’s unnecessary and irresponsible refusal to come to a fair agreement,” said the UAW’s Mr Fain.

In a statement, GM said: “We are disappointed by the UAW’s action in light of the progress we have made.

“We have continued to bargain in good faith with the UAW, and our goal remains to reach an agreement as quickly as possible.”

Last week, GM said the strike action was expected to cost it about $200m (£164m) each week.

The company also withdrew profit forecasts for the year saying it could not predict how quickly the stand-off would conclude, but added it had offered a “record” contract in an effort to help resolve the dispute,