UAW, Big Three continue negotiations ahead of Thursday strike deadline

Contract talks continue between the United Auto Workers and the Big Three as the union and automakers work to come to agreements before Thursday's deadline.

UAW President Shawn Fain said union members will strike against any automaker that hasn't reached a deal by 11:59 p.m. Sept. 14. 

"If we don't get our justice, I can guarantee you one thing - come this Thursday at midnight, there will be action," he said.

The automakers have all presented proposals to the union, and the UAW has scrapped all of them.

On Monday, Stellantis said there had been progress during weekend negotiations, and subcommittees had reached tentative agreements in regard to some issues, such as health and safety. However, Fain says the automaker still isn't offering enough on the economic side.

"Things are moving, but they’re moving very slow," he said.


What does the UAW want from Detroit's Big Three in the 2023 negotiations?

The UAW could strike at midnight on Friday, Sept. 15 if a deal isn't reached with Detroit's Big Three automakers - Ford, Stellantis, and General Motors.

The union is asking for a 46% pay raise, a 32-hour work week with 40 hours of pay, the tier system removed, and restoration of traditional pensions for new hires, among other demands. See what they want here.

The UAW may be budging on its initial demands, though, according to the Wall Street Journal. The paper reports that the union is reducing its raise percentage request from in the 40-range to the mid-30s.

Stellantis previously went up to 14.5% in a proposed deal, Ford offered up a 15 % combined increase, and GM proposed a 10% increase with inflation bonuses mixed in.


Stellantis claims progress made in UAW negotiations - union says pay discussion still far apart

"The price of vehicles in the Big Three and overall have went up 30 percent in the last four years," Fain said. "Our wages went up 6 percent."

As the negotiations continue to play out publicly, there are likely conversations happening that aren't yet being made public.

"I think publicly, there may be things happening behind the scenes in the negotiation room that we’re not - that’s not being shared with the public," said Alan Amici, the president and CEO of the Center for Automotive Research.

He said that while talks go down to the wire, much of the debate is about how the Big Three will move further into the world of Electric Vehicles.

The EV transition is an expensive one, which pulls a lot of cash out of automaker profits.

"The engineering teams are shifting from engine and transmission development into batteries, battery monitor systems, battery cell technology," he said. "And so it’s a big shift for these companies."

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