Chicago union leaders celebrate as UAW announces Ford tentative agreement that could end strike

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Thursday, October 26, 2023
Chicago union celebrates, UAW announces tentative agreement with Ford
Union members in Chicago celebrated Wednesday after the UAW announced the strike could be coming to an end as the union and Ford reached a tentative agreement.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago union leaders celebrated Wednesday evening after the United Auto Workers union announced a tentative deal with Ford that may end their strike.

Local union members left the picket lines at the Chicago Ford assembly plant near 126th and Torrence to go celebrate at the union hall.

The local union president of the UAW Local 551 Chicago Assembly Plant, Chris Pena, said there was a visible sigh of relief once the official announcement was made.

"I saw a sigh of relief throughout all our picket lines and it was just... wow," Pena said.

It's been nearly a month since United Auto Workers union members walked off the job at Chicago's Ford assembly plant.

Members initially remained on the picket lines outside the Far South Side plant Wednesday until the official announcement was made.

UAW national leaders called the deal "historic" and a "major victory" in a video announcement.

"This agreement sets us on a new path to make things right at Ford, at the Big Three, and across the auto industry," UAW President Shawn Fain said. "Together we are turning the tide for the working class in this country."

Key takeaways from the tentative deal included a 25% pay increase over the course of the agreement and improved benefits, like cost-of-living allowance and annual bonuses to retirees.

"I think people are really excited about what the future is going to bring and what this contract means," Pena said. "It's a game-changer for a lot of families out there, and again the UAW will be setting the standard for the working class and now, the world."