About 12,700 UAW members — or roughly 8 percent of the union’s auto workers — are on strike at the Stellandis plant in Toledo, a General Motors plant in Wentzville, Mo., and Ford. Michigan Assembly Plant In addition, in Wayne, Mich., the auto companies warned that 2,600 non-striking GM and Ford workers would be temporarily laid off in the coming days.
The union and the companies are far apart in their week-long contract talks over wages and benefits, with the union seeking a 36 percent wage increase over four years. On Saturday, Jeep and Chrysler parent Stellandis, said It offers a 21 percent overall pay rise during a new contract, It was proposed on Thursday, before the strike began. Ford and GM have offered 20 percent raises.
Why UAW Workers Say They’re On Strike
The UAW has kept its strike plans secret. Asked Friday night if it would strike more plants, UAW President Sean Fine said it would depend on the outcome of negotiations.
“When things progress or don’t progress, we make decisions as a board or as a union and take the next step,” Fine said after a rally in Detroit late Friday. “It could be in a day, it could be in a week. It depends on how things progress. “
A Report On Saturday morning, Fein said the union would make sure the laid-off workers “don’t go without income.”
He didn’t elaborate, but the 600 laid-off workers at the Ford Stamping Plant in Wayne have been told by their local UAW leadership that they can sign up to receive the $500 weekly strike benefits the union pays striking workers. Kanowski, 67, is a union representative at his plant and a Ford auto worker for 49 years.
Asked if he was worried about long-term temporary layoffs, Kanowski said: “No. We are all on board. We have been fired in the last few deals.
Fine accused companies of laying off workers to “put pressure on our members to settle for less.”
GM and Ford said the strike was a direct result of the strike, which cost non-striking plants supplies. The laid-off workers will not be eligible for regular unemployment benefits that companies pay when they shut down any of their plants, the two companies said. GM said it was because they were working under an expired contract.
“We have said time and time again that no one wins in a strike, and the consequences go beyond our employees on the plant floor to negatively impact our customers, suppliers and the communities in which we do business,” GM said in a statement Friday.
This is the first time that the union has struck all three companies at the same time. National Auto strike against GM in 2019
The Auto Workers’ Strike That Changed America
The Stellandis plant in Toledo makes Jeep Wranglers and Gladiators. GM’s Wentzville Plant Chevrolet makes Colorado trucks and Express vans, and GMC makes Canyon trucks and Savannah vans. Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant Vanil makes Ranger trucks and Bronco SUVs.
Fain said the company’s incentives were inadequate after years of steep inflation and fat corporate profits. He also pointed to the huge pay raises auto CEOs received during the auto workers’ expired contract signed in 2019.
Compensation of GM Chief Executive Mary Barra, Including bonuses and stock awards, it grew 34 percent between 2019 and 2022, to $29 million last year. Ford’s CEO pay rose 21 percent during that period, to $21 million last year. Netherlands-headquartered Stellandis, created by the 2021 merger of Fiat Chrysler and France’s Peugeot SA, did not exist when the deal began. Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares earned about $25 million last year, including long-term incentives.
Full-time UAW workers earn between $18 and $32 an hour, plus profit-sharing payments and other bonuses. Stellandis said Saturday that over the four years of the just-expired contract, full-time employees were “eligible” for $44,700 in total profit-sharing payments. Ford says its average full-time employee received $75,000 in profit-sharing payments over the past 10 years.
Temporary workers earn a lower hourly wage, $16 to $19 an hour, and are not eligible for profit sharing or other bonuses. And they are stuck in a temporary state for years. Companies have proposed raising their starting wages to $20 an hour. Ford is proposing to convert all temps to full-time status within 90 days.
Automakers argue that they are offering better pay raises and benefits than they have had in decades. Ford calls its offering the best in 80 years. Barra said Friday CBS News The company’s offer is “an achievement from a total pay perspective in our 115-year history”.
But GM said it can’t meet all union demands while remaining profitable. Those demands include a 32-hour work week, defined-benefit pensions for all workers instead of 401(k) accounts, and company-sponsored health care in retirement.
Lauren K. Gurley reported from Detroit.