(FOX 2) - The president of the United Auto Workers declared earlier this week that the union's upcoming negotiations will come with the "most audacious and ambitious list of proposals" that Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis have seen in years.
During a Monday video stream online, President Shawn Fain outlined the UAW's stance as its leadership heads into collective bargaining with the Big three automakers, including double-digit pay raises, more medical benefits for retirees, a right to strike if plants close.
He also proposed a 32-hour work week for union members.
Fain said the 10 requirements he called the "Members' Demands" that he'll be asking for are in response to recently headline about "record profits" reported by the companies.
"Our message going into bargaining is clear: Record Profits Record Contracts," he said on Aug. 1. "The rich are getting richer, while the rest of us are getting left behind."
Collectively the Detroit Three made $20.7 billion in net profits in the first half of this year, which Fain said happened while worker pay has remained stagnant or regressed. He railed against CEO pay compared with that of workers and said it would take 16 years for a newly hired worker at GM’s joint venture battery plant in Ohio to make as much as CEO Mary Barra makes in one week.
Fain also said the issues he'll be bargaining for are also part of returning money and benefits to America's middle class, which he said has been gassed as corporate power has towered over contract negotiations in the past.
The demands include:
- Eliminate Tiers on wages & Benefits
- Substantial wage increase
- Restore Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)
- Defined Benefit Pension for all workers
- Re-establish retiree medical benefits
- Right to strike over plant closures
- Working Family Protection Program
- End Abuse of Temp workers
- More Paid time off to be with families
- Significantly increase retiree pay
Contracts expire Sept. 14.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.