UAW strike: Where negotiations stand between union and Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis

On Friday, the autoworkers union president greatly expanded the scope of its strike against General Motors and Stellantis after it said negotiations with the two automakers had not seen serious progress.

With Ford, the UAW still has "serious issues to work through," its president said during a morning update, but it had made serious progress with the automaker.

"To be clear, we're not done at Ford," said Shawn Fain, "but we do want to recognize Ford is showing it's serious about reaching a deal. At GM and Stellantis, it's a different story."

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Friday's announcement came with updates on negotiations between the Big 3 on job security, profit sharing, the status of temporary workers, wage tiers, and cost of living adjustments.

According to the UAW, Ford has proposed giving the UAW the right to strike over any plant closures and two years of pay with health care in the event of an indefinite layoff. 

It also said it would reinstate the cost-of-living-adjustment formula that was used in 2009, the elimination of separate employee tiers at two parts plants owned by Ford, and the immediate conversion of all temporary workers to permanent employment. 

Under profit shearing, Ford has proposed a 13.3% increase in the average payout for each employee compared to last year. Profit sharing was also extended to temporary workers.

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Ford offered a statement after the update that said it was "working diligently" to reach a deal.

"Although we are making progress in some areas, we still have significant gaps to close on the key economic issues. In the end, the issues are interconnected and must work within an overall agreement that supports our mutual success," it said. 

There was little update on where negotiations stand with GM and Stellantis, saying both had rejected proposals on temporary workers, profit sharing, and job security demands, while offering "deficient cost-of-living-adjustments."

When it comes to tiers, GM said it would eliminate wage tiers for components plants customer care employees. Stellantis' proposal for tiers at its parts plants were "substandard," the UAW said.

Stellantis questioned whether the union was interested in even reaching an agreement after a media report of comments made by the UAW's communications director about how negotiators are approaching bargaining.

"They seem more concerned about pursuing their own political agendas than negotiating in the best interests of our employees and the sustainability of our U.S. operations given the market’s fierce competition," it said in a statement.

"The fact is, we made a very competitive offer yesterday that includes all our current full-time hourly employees earning between $80,000 and $96,000 a year by the end of the contract (a 21.4% compounded increase); a long-term solution for Belvidere; and, significant product allocation that allows for workforce stability through the end of the contract. And yet, we still have not received a response to that offer. We look forward to the UAW leadership’s productive engagement so that we can bargain in good faith to reach an agreement that will protect the competitiveness of our Company and our ability to continue providing good jobs."

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As the stakes build across the country, all three automakers have announced layoffs due to the original targeted strikes.

Stellantis says it's would likely need to lay off more than 350 workers at plants in Ohio and Indiana. Ford temporarily laid off 600 Michigan Assembly workers the day after workers walked off the line at the Wayne facility. General Motors sent home 200 workers at its plant in Kansas where it builds the Chevrolet Malibu and Cadillac SUV.

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