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UAW reduces wage demands ahead of strike deadline

UAW Local 5960 member Kimberly Fuhr inspects a Chevrolet Bolt EV during vehicle production on Thursday, May 6, 2021, at the General Motors Orion Assembly Plant in Orion Township, Michigan. (Photo by Steve Fecht for Chevrolet)

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union has lowered its wage demands ahead of a potential strike and after the union rejected contract offers from Ford, General Motors (GM) and Stellantis last week.

After rejecting offers from the so-called “Big 3” on Friday, the UAW has lowered its pay raise demands to within the middle of the 30-percent range, according to a person who is familiar in a report from Automotive News on Monday. The UAW’s latest wage demand includes a drop to as low as 36 percent, which would be paid out over the next four years.

The news comes after UAW President Shawn Fain has kept to wage demands of over 40 percent for over a month. It also comes just days before a Thursday deadline for the previous union contracts, with the UAW threatening a major strike if demands are not met.

Last week, wage increases of 14.5 percent, 10 percent and 9 percent over four years were offered by Stellantis, GM and Ford, respectively. Since then, however, Ford has proposed a 16-percent wage increase over the four years. The automaker has also proposed decreasing the time it takes new workers to earn top wages to five years, down from six in its previous contract.

GM was expected to put forth another counteroffer over the weekend, while Stellantis said it planned to do the same on Monday. It isn’t clear at the time of writing what changes these offers include.

“We are on a good path and remain committed to reaching a tentative agreement without a work stoppage that would negatively impact our employees and our customers,” wrote Tobin Williams, Stellantis North America’s senior vice president of human resources, in an email to workers.

UAW approves strikes against Ford, GM, and Stellantis amid EV reservations


As Automotive News points out, the decrease also shows that Fain and the UAW may be willing to compromise, as the situation remains open-ended. However, if the contract deadline passes, a strike that may benefit electric vehicle (EV) market leader Tesla could be imminent.

The current union contracts expire at 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday.

In an update on Monday, Fain said that the UAW is “ready to negotiate in Detroit 24/7, just as we have been for the past seven weeks since we gave them our members demands.”

“Despite receiving no response for over a month, when the CEOs are ready to make a serious offer we’ll be there, day or night. It’s unfortunate the companies have waited until the last moments to get focused on the needs of 150,000 autoworkers, our families and our communities.”

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UAW reduces wage demands ahead of strike deadline
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