The UAW makes a counter-contract bid to Ford; Stellantis to make the offer

Sept. 6 (Reuters) – The United Auto Workers union on Wednesday submitted a labor contract counterproposal on economic issues to Ford Motor Company (FN), while Chrysler’s parent Stellantis planned its counterproposal this week.

Talks are heating up before the current four-year labor agreements covering 146,000 workers at the three Detroit automakers expire on September 14.

Last week, Ford said it had offered a 9% wage increase through 2027, far short of the 46% wage increase the union is seeking. A source told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity, that the UAW expects to receive an offer from GM on Thursday. GM confirmed it would meet with the UAW on Thursday but declined to provide any details.

On Wednesday, Stellantis said it plans to file a counteroffer with the UAW over the union’s economic demands by the end of the week. The UAW declined to comment on its proposal to Ford.

Ford said on Wednesday it continues to negotiate with the UAW but declined to comment on the details of the talks.

Last week, the UAW filed charges of unfair labor practices with the National Labor Relations Board against General Motors and Chrysler parent company Stellantis, saying they refused to bargain in good faith.

The union’s demands include an immediate 20% pay increase followed by four annual pay increases of 5%, defined benefit pensions for all workers, 32-hour work weeks, and an additional increase in the cost of living.

Earlier, the UAW said about 97% of members voted in favor of allowing strikes if no agreement was reached.

The UAW also wants all temporary workers at US automakers to become permanent, boost profit sharing and restore health care benefits for retirees and cost-of-living adjustments.

The UAW said Ford does not want to cap temporary workers and that these workers will not participate in profit sharing, will earn less than 60% of the highest wage rate for permanent workers and will receive fewer health care benefits.

Ford said it would boost the starting wage for temporary workers to $20 an hour, a 20% increase, and offer permanent employees $12,000 in cost-of-living adjustments over the course of the contract.

The UAW said changing Ford’s profit-sharing formula would have cut payments by 21% over the past two years, while Ford said it was offering a $5,500 signing bonus upon contract certification for permanent and temporary workers.

Reporting by David Shepherdson. Editing by Jonathan Otis and David Gregorio

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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