The UAW strike against the Big Three automakers is entering its fourth day, with little movement in sight as the two sides appear stuck in a stalemate.
Over the weekend, Stellantis upgraded its offer to the UAW, proposing an immediate 10 percent pay increase, with salaries increasing by 21 percent over the course of the contract. Although the levels would remain, Stellantis said it would reduce the number of years union members need to earn the top salary, from eight years to four. Stellantis said it was also proposing an “inflation protection measure” to offset the costs of inflation, although details were not given.
Additionally, Stellantis said it was willing to negotiate the future of the automaker’s Belvidere, Illinois, assembly plant, which was closed earlier this year. The UAW has been highly critical of the plant’s closure and now claims that Stellantis is using the plant’s future as a “bargaining chip.”
UAW President Shawn Fain appeared on the talk show circuit Sunday, criticizing automakers and warning that negotiations were dragging on.
“Progress is slow,” Fain said on MSNBC’s “The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart,” adding, “I don’t really want to say we’re closer.” Fain also refused to provide further details on the possibility of a second wave of factory strikes.
About 12,700 UAW workers have walked off the job and remain on strike as part of a coordinated plan that affected three separate plants. The UAW is calling for, among other things, salary increases of nearly 40%, a COLA (cost of living adjustment) built into a future contract, an end to salary “tiers” and a defined benefit pension plan.
The ripple effects of current standing strikes – at GM’s Wentzville, Mo., plant (which assembles mid-size trucks and full-size vans), at Stellantis’ Toledo assembly plant (Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator) and at Ford’s Michigan assembly plant in Wayne (mid-size Ranger). pickup and Bronco SUV) – are starting to be felt on both sides.
Following the walkouts at the strike sites, Ford said it was laying off 600 workers at another part of the Michigan assembly plant because of strikers in that plant’s paint and assembly division.
“This layoff is a consequence of the strike in the final assembly and painting departments of the Michigan assembly plant, because the components built by these 600 employees use materials that must be e-coated to be protected. E-coating is completed in the paint department, which is on strike,” Ford said in a statement.
Additionally, GM said the strike at the Wentzville, Missouri, assembly plant was affecting production at its Fairfax, Kansas, plant, meaning 2,000 workers at the Fairfax plant could be dismissed by the end of the week. GM’s Fairfax plant assembles the Cadillac XT4 crossover and Chevrolet Malibu sedan.
“[The layoffs are] due to a shortage of critical stampings supplied by the Wentzville stamping operations in Fairfax,” GM said in a statement. “We are working under an expired agreement in Fairfax. Unfortunately, there is no provision allowing payment of company-provided sub-wages in these circumstances. »
Pras Subramanian is a journalist for Yahoo Finance. You can follow it Twitter and on Instagram.
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