General Motors and Stellantis are closing in on deals with the United Auto Workers after late-night, marathon discussions, according to three people familiar with the negotiations.
How quickly a deal might come together is uncertain, however, and the people said there was still more movement needed. And in high-stakes contract negotiations, things can quickly devolve.
But the people close to the talks — who were granted anonymity to speak about ongoing negotiations — expressed optimism. GM CEO Mary Barra in particular talked with union officials until late Thursday, said one of the people.
The development comes days after the union reached a tentative labor agreement with Ford, a major breakthrough that signaled the six-week strike could be nearing a close. That long-awaited progress came as a relief to President and other Democratic elected officials, some of whom have been concerned that an extended strike could do major damage to the economy as well as their 2024 election prospects.
General Motors, in response to a request for comment, said it is “working constructively with the UAW to reach an agreement as soon as possible. Stellantis said talks continue.
Biden publicly applauded the agreement with Ford, and he expressed a similar sentiment behind the scenes: He spoke with UAW President Shawn Fain over the phone on Wednesday, said two people familiar with the conversation. One of the sources said that Biden congratulated Fain.
The UAW did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Biden administration has been closely monitoring the talks, though they’ve stressed they are not intervening. White House senior adviser Gene Sperling and acting Labor Secretary Julie Su traveled to Detroit multiple times to meet with the parties in recent weeks to aid in the bargaining process and move negotiations forward, a Labor Department spokesperson confirmed.
UAW’s national Ford council will vote on the union’s agreement with Ford on Sunday, Fain said Wednesday. If the council approves the deal, it will be made public and presented to members Sunday on Facebook Live, as well as explained to union locals, Fain said.
After that, members would vote on whether to ratify it.
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