UAW president trashes counterproposals from Ford, GM, Stellantis with big gap between demands and offers

The president of the autoworkers union called for solidarity among members of the UAW Friday as auto companies prepared for a potential strike next week, warning the minute that contracts between Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis runs out they will walk off the line.

"Sept. 14 is a deadline, not a reference point for all three of these companies," said Shawn Fain over Facebook Live. The UAW president then gestured to a garbage bin behind him that had the words "Big Three Proposals" written on the side. There was paper stacked high.

Fain hasn't been shy about what he thinks of the Detroit Big Three's contract offers, at times literally throwing the proposals in the trash.

On Friday, he went over the demands for wages, tiers, cost-of-living adjustments,and profit sharing. Next to the demands were the counteroffers submitted by Ford, GM, and Stellantis. There was a lot of space between the two ends.

"We want a deal, we're ready for a deal, but it has to be a deal that honors our members' sacrifice and contributions," Fain said. "The cost of a strike might be high, but the cost of not striking is higher."

MORE: Here's the UAW's ‘ambitious list’ of demands

Analysts looking at what a potential strike would mean for the industry and the country warn of economic peril for both Michigan and consumers. One prediction said even 10 days of striking could lead to a $5 billion hit.

Here are the Big Three's counterproposals:

While there is uncertainty about how wide-reaching the effects will be, Fain was less ambiguous about the potential of a strike. Auto companies are preparing for the likelihood, with reports that Ford is looking for lines of credit and training salaried workers.

Detroit's Big Three submitted their counterproposals to the UAW this week. Here's where they stand compared to what the union is asking for.

Wage Increases

Among the biggest gaps between the two parties is on wages. The UAW has proposed double-digit pay raises, while the Big Three have offered between 10% and 15% wage increases. General Motors offered 10%, Stellantis, offered 14.5%, while Ford proposed a 9% wage increase and a 6% lump sum added after. 

Fain referred to the proposals as "shameful and insulting" and "deeply inadequate."


The UAW proposed more paid time off and holidays. Ford counter offered with two weeks of paid parental leave, while GM and Stellantis offered Juneteenth as a paid holiday. 


Ford offered some protection from inflation for wages, which the UAW called deficient. GM and Stellantis offered lump sum payouts instead of adjustments.

Temp workers

The UAW called for a policy that would help temporary workers gain full-worker status after 90 days. The three automakers offered wage increases for the employees, but little else. Under their current contract, temp workers at Ford are eligible for health care when they start.