Unions reach deals with Big Three US automakers

Union leaders in the US have arrived at what they call a turning point in a "class war." They have reached tentative agreements with the Big Three automakers to put an end to a 6-week strike.

Representatives of the United Auto Workers agreed on Monday to a deal with General Motors. They had already agreed to deals last week with Ford Motor and with Chrysler's parent company, Stellantis.

Workers won the biggest compensation gains in their industry in decades. They will get a raise of 25 percent in base wages over 4 and a half years. They will also get more paid leave and better benefits for retirement.

Workers at the three companies walked off their jobs in mid-September, the first time they had joined a strike together in US history. More than 45-thousand joined the action. They argued their pay was not keeping up with inflation, even as their employers raked in profits. The strikes cost the automakers billions of dollars in lost sales.

President Joe Biden had joined them on the picket line in September. He welcomed the agreements, saying they will ensure the Big Three can "still lead the world in quality and innovation."

Union members still have to vote on the new contracts before they can return to their jobs.