The UAW said it had filed unfair labor practices complaints against Stellantis and General Motors for failing to counter the union’s economic demands.
UAW President Shawn Fain told workers in a Facebook Live meeting on Thursday that Ford was the only one of the Detroit Big Three to offer a counteroffer, but it rejected most of the union’s overtures.
Fain’s statement and the strong response from the companies suggest that with just two weeks to go until the contract with the union’s 146,000 members expires, both sides appear to be pulling out all the stops.finn again threatened to strike Agreement ends September 14th at 11:59 pm.
He told members that companies had been warned not to wait until the last minute to make serious bargains.
“The Big Three either didn’t listen or didn’t take us seriously,” Fein said, calling the refusal to respond “insulting, counterproductive” and illegal. The union filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board on Thursday, he said.
In a statement, Stellantis said the unfair labor allegations were unsubstantiated and the company would vigorously defend itself.
“We were disappointed to learn that Mr. Fein was more focused on making flimsy legal allegations than on actual bargaining,” the statement said. “We will not allow Mr. Fein’s tactics to distract from our important work of securing the future of our employees. attention.”
Ford said it made a fair economic proposition that paid better than Tesla or foreign automakers.
“We will not make a deal that jeopardizes our ability to invest, grow and share profits with our employees,” Chief Executive Jim Farley said in a statement. All those who own Ford stock do harm.”
GM said it strongly refuted the union’s labor allegations.
“We believe this has no merit and is an insult to the negotiating committee,” GM said in a statement. “We have always placed high priority on direct negotiations with the UAW in good faith and are making progress.”
Automakers say they are facing an uncertain transition from gasoline-powered to battery-powered vehicles. They are also unwilling to incur higher labor costs than Tesla and foreign automakers with factories in the United States.
Strike threat looms
finn who wins UAW president When officials were directly elected by members for the first time this spring, expectations were high for workers and told they could make significant progress if they were willing to walk the picket line.
But even he described the union’s demands as bold. Union members are seeking a 46 per cent pay rise over four years, a return to the traditional defined benefit pension for new hires, an end to pay scales, an increase in pensions for retirees and a 32-hour workweek for 40 hours pay.
Workers at top assembly plants now make $32 an hour, but a union proposal would raise that to $47.
Fein said Ford offered a general 9 per cent wage increase over the four-year contract and a one-time payment instead of the cost-of-living adjustment proposed by the union. He said the company had also rejected calls to end the salary scale, instead advising that new hires take six years to reach the top wage instead of the current eight years.
Fein said Ford has also rejected union demands to increase pensions for retirees and the company’s demands to pay workers while factories are closed. The company still plans to shift battery work to a joint venture battery factory outside of Ford, which Fein called low-wage work.
“Our union will not stand by while they replace the oil barons with battery barons,” Fein said.
Ford said it is proposing to end the wage scale and said its proposal would provide workers with a guaranteed 15 percent wage increase and one-time payment, as well as increased benefits over the course of their four-year contract. Wages, including overtime and one-time bonuses, will rise to $92,000 in the first year of the new contract, up from an average of $78,000 a year last year, the company said.
Workers will receive a $5,500 approval bonus and $12,000 in living expenses during the contract, Ford said.
In addition, employees will receive $17,500 worth of health insurance and $20,500 worth of other benefits, the company said.
Fein said the union could strike all three automakers simultaneously or choose a target company. The Canadian Auto Workers picked Ford as their target earlier this week, with their contracts expiring four days after the UAW contract.