United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain (right) and UAW Secretary-Treasurer Margaret Mock (left) led a march outside Stellantis’ Ram 1500 plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan after the union called a strike at the plant on Oct. 23, 2023.

Michael Wayland / CNBC

DETROIT – The United Auto Workers union and Ford Motor have agreed in principle to the terms of a tentative agreement that would end a nearly six-week strike at the automaker, sources with knowledge of the discussions confirmed Wednesday to CNBC.

A tentative agreement could be announced as early as Wednesday night, pending approval of UAW leaders, according to two sources, who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks.

Any deal would still need to be ratified by a simple majority of Ford’s 57,000 union-represented workers.

The automaker and the union participated in intense bargaining Tuesday and Wednesday in an attempt to finalize a record deal, according to the sources.

Spokespeople with Ford, which has offered the best proposals of any of the three Detroit automakers for weeks, declined to comment on the negotiations earlier Wednesday other than to say talks were ongoing. A UAW spokesman did not respond for comment.

The talks this week involved a proposal for wage increases of at least 25% over the term of the deal as well as other improved benefits previously outlined by the union and company, two sources confirmed to CNBC.

The UAW and Ford as well as its crosstown rivals General Motor and  Stellantis have been locked in negotiations largely around the economics of the deals since the sides failed to reach new contracts covering 146,000 autoworkers by a Sept 14 deadline.

The union initiated negotiations with all three automakers at once, breaking from recent history when UAW leaders would bargain with each automaker individually, select a lead company to focus efforts on and then pattern the remaining deals off a leading tentative agreement.

However, a tentative agreement with Ford would likely be used as a template to negotiate with Stellantis and GM. The union expanded strikes against both of those automakers at major plants this week.

Ford reports its third-quarter results after the markets close Thursday.


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