Chicago UAW strike comes to end after tentative deal with Ford

The UAW strike is almost over in Chicago. The union reached a tentative agreement with Ford and the company hopes to start production soon at the Ford Assembly plant on the South Side.

UAW members dropped their picket signs and say they’re relieved the almost month-long strike is over. The assembly workers are eager to return.

Chicago Ford workers have been on the picket line 24 hours a day since Sept. 29. Their union called a strike on Ford, GM and Stellantis Sept. 15.

The tentative agreement includes a 25 percent wage increase, improved pension benefits and the right to strike if plants are closed.

Scott Houldieson, a Ford employee for 34 years, said, "The wage increases and the cost of living allowance is huge. The right to strike over plant closings, that’s unheard of and you now, that’s our job security."

V Brown stopped at the union office to help clean up strike encampments. She said the last month has been hard. 

"I’m just glad, I’m grateful. Grateful that it’s over, we can get back to work, and we can get a fair share of what we deserve," Brown said.

In a statement, Ford says it wants to resume production in Michigan, Kentucky and Chicago, where they make the Ford Explorer, Interceptor and the Lincoln Aviator.

Houldieson said there’s a process to bring a plant online. 

"It’s going to take some time. Skilled trades are going to have to get in there first and get the equipment up and running."

The union leadership will review the deal in Detroit, with members voting on it sometime afterward.