The United Auto Workers (UAW) labor union is currently engaged in contract negotiations with the Big Three automakers, including General Motors. The new contract terms will determine a major component of GM’s labor costs over the course of the next three to four years. Now, President Biden is weighing in on the ongoing negotiations.
In an official White House statement, President Biden urged both sides to come to an agreement that supports the middle class, while continuing the transition to “a clean energy future.”
“As the Big Three auto companies and the United Auto Workers come together – one month before the expiration of their contract – to negotiate a new agreement, I want to be clear about where I stand. I’m asking all sides to work together to forge a fair agreement,” the statement reads.
The statement goes on to state that the Big Three automakers should offer jobs “that can support a family,” while honoring the right for workers to organize and taking “every possible step to avoid painful plant closings.”
“The UAW helped create the American middle class and as we move forward in this transition to new technologies, the UAW deserves a contract that sustains the middle class,” President Biden’s statement reads.
In a recent report, an unnamed source indicated that the UAW’s contract demands could result in an added $80 billion in annual labor costs. The added costs would be driven by a shorter 32-hour work week, retiree benefits, cost-of-living adjustments, the return of earlier pensions, and a 46-percent wage boost, which, according to the source, could increase labor costs from $64 per hour currently to $150 per hour.
In an effort to provide greater transparency in the ongoing contract negotiations, GM launched a new website providing updates on the latest negotiation developments.
Contract negotiations began last month. The current labor contracts are set to expire on September 14th, 2023.