The union is trying to strike a deal with not just Ford but also General Motors and Stellantis for higher wages in an era of big profits for the industry.
NEW YORK — The United Auto Workers said Saturday that it has had “reasonably productive conversations” with Ford, because of its limited strike against three major auto manufacturers Move to day two.
The union is trying to reach an agreement with not only Ford but also General Motors and Stellantis for higher wages over a long period of time. era of great profits for the industry trying to transition from gasoline engines to electric vehicles.
Stellantis on Saturday also provided details on its most recent offer to the union, which offered a salary nearly identical to that of its competitors. Chrysler’s owners said their offer would yield a cumulative increase of nearly 21% in hourly wages, and an immediate increase of 10% if the contract is ratified.
However, that is still less than the 36% increase over four years that the UAW is seeking, which along with other demands will increase costs for auto companies.
Mark Stewart, chief executive of Stellantis’s North America region, on Saturday called it part of the overall proposal “really competitive,” as it tries to compete with non-automakers. Alliances outside the Big 3 have lower costs.
Stewart also described a possible solution involving a housing plant Belvidere, Illinois, has been shut down, which is a big problem for unions. But that offer was canceled after the deadline to stop the strike passed. Stewart declined to discuss details of the proposal.
“That’s how they view these workers. A bargaining chip,” UAW President Shawn Fain said in a statement. “Belvidere Assembly is a profitable factory that just a few years ago supported about 5,000 workers and their families. Now that number is zero and Stellantis wants to continue playing the game.”
Nearly 1 in 10 unionized U.S. auto workers went on strike Friday. The strikes are currently limited to three assembly plants: a GM plant in Wentzville, Missouri, a Ford plant in Wayne, Michigan, near Detroit, and a Jeep plant operated by Stellantis in Toledo, Ohio.
Since then, automakers have told some non-striking workers to stay out of work, including 600 who were told not to come to work Friday at a Ford plant.
Politicians have pushed automakers to consider workers who gave up wages and benefits to help their employers during the Great Recession.
“Now that our automakers are enjoying rich profits, it is time to do right by those same workers,” former President Barack Obama said in a statement Saturday. The industry can become more united and competitive than ever before.”