The president of the United Auto Workers (UAW) labor union, Shawn Fain, just provided an update on negotiations between the union and the Big Three Detroit automakers (GM, Ford, and Stellantis). The update was provided via a livestream address on social media, and included a comparison of the offers currently on the table between each of the Big Three. The UAW launched its initial round of strikes on September 15th following the expiration of the previous labor contracts, and the union has expanded its strike against each automaker on several occasions. Fain, however, did not announce any new strike expansions with this latest update.
With regard to wages, the UAW is demanding double-digit pay increases to match the average pay increases of the CEOs at the Big Three, as well as to catch up with inflation and make up for decades of falling wages. The latest offer from GM, Ford, and Stellantis includes a 23-percent pay increase over four-and-a-half years.
Wage tiers were also addressed, with the UAW demanding an elimination to the wage tier system. GM is proposing elimination of tiers at GM Components Holdings and Customer Care and Aftersales, while Ford will eliminate tiers at its Rawsonville and Sterling facilities, and Stellantis will eliminate tiers for Mopar workers. With regard to wage progression, the UAW is demanding a 90-day progression to the top rate, with GM proposing a three-year progression for current workers and four-year progression for future hires. Ford is offering a three-year progression, while Stellantis is offering a four-year progression.
On cost of living allowance (COLA), the UAW is demanding that adjustments keep up with inflation. The union says that GM is approaching restoration of COLA, but is not quite there, while Ford has restored COLA to 2009 levels. The UAW says Stellantis is still proposing a deficient COLA. On the profit sharing front, GM is proposing the current formula, but will include temp employees with 1,000 hours, while Ford is moving to total company profits, including Ford Credit, and Stellantis is maintaining the current formula, without including temp employees.
On the issue of temp workers, the UAW is demanding that workers are converted to full-time after 90 days. GM is offering conversion at one year of employment, and will raise temp wages to $21 per hour. Ford is offering current temp conversion at 90 days and $21 per hour for remaining and future temps, while Stellantis is offering conversion of 1,000s of current temps to full time and $20 per hour for future and remaining temps.
The UAW is also demanding the right to strike over plant closures, which GM has rejected, while Ford and Stellantis have accepted. All three automakers are offering Juneteenth as a holiday and two weeks of paid parental leave. Finally, on retirement, GM is offering 8 percent retirement contributions and $1.25 per hour worked on health care in retirement and a $3 increase to pension benefits, plus $1,000 lump sum payment for current retirees. Ford is offering 9.5 percent contributions and $1 per hour worked on health care, a $3 increase to pension benefits, and a $250 lump sum payment for current retirees. Stellantis is offering 9.5 percent, $1 per hour for health care, $3 increase to pension benefits, and no increase to current retiree pay.
Fain added that it may expand strikes at a future date if further progress isn’t made.