UAW: 23% wage increase on table; Fain blasts Ford but progress made with GM, Stellantis

No new plants were targeted for the United Auto Workers Stand Up Strike in the United Auto Workers latest announcement on Friday, but that didn't stop UAW President Shawn Fain from another fierce address on where the negotiations are at.

Fain said that current wage offer increases at all the Big Three automakers was at 23 percent, but he criticized Ford Motor Company for a speech that Chairman Bill Ford Jr. gave at the Rouge plant earlier this week. Ford spoke in response to its massive Kentucky truck plant being targeted for the walkout the previous week.

"I am happy to report that in the past 24 hours, we have seen serious movement from both Stellantis and General Motors, meanwhile Ford continues to stew about KTP and pretend they can't afford what we are asking for," Fain said. "Bill Ford went to the Rouge to talk the same old talk about staying sustainable and competitive. He said if the workers get their share of economic justice he would have to close plants like the Rouge, We took those comments seriously."

Fain said that GM and Stellantis got the message "loud and clear" after the Kentucky plant action - adding that one day after the Rouge address, Ford Motor E Company said it would give an additional $6 million in shareholder dividends this year.

"What Ford is showing us is that the money is there they just don't want us to have it," he said. 

In a statement, Ford expressed satisfaction that Fain recognized their offer as a record that remains "the best one on the table." The company is keen on finalizing negotiations with an agreement that will provide a strong future for all parties involved. Ford anticipates joining forces to sustain employment opportunities for generations to come.

Fain gave other updates on the negotiations including:

Wages - While all three automakers have a 23 percent increase all over four and a half years.

Wage Tiers - Ford has proposed eliminating them at Rawsonville and Sterling, General Motors at GMCH and CCA, and Stellantis at MOPAR.

Wage Progression - Ford is offering a three-year progression over three years to top the rate in place from the mid-90s, GM is offering a three-year progression for current workers but a four-year progression for future hires, and a four-year progression for Stellantis.

COLA - Ford is offering to restore the cost of living to a 2009 level, GM is "approaching restoration, but not fully there," and Stellantis' COLA is "deficient delayed a year."

Profit Sharing - Ford is offering improved profit sharing by moving to total profits including Ford Credit, and temporary employees eligible. General Motors offered to maintain the current profit-sharing formula. Temporary employees with 1,000 hours are eligible. Stellantis would also maintain the current plan but temporary employees not eligible.  

Temps - Ford is offering conversion of current temps with 90 days to full-time. Wage increases to $21 an hour for remaining/future temps. Automatic conversion of future temps still being negotiated. GM is offering conversion of current and future temps with one year to full-time. Wage increases to $21 per hour for remaining and future temps.  Stellantis' proposal is a conversion of 1,000s of current temps to full-time to address abuses of temps by the company. Wage increases to $20 per hour for remaining and future temps. Automatic conversion of future temps still being negotiated. 

Related: UAW Strike update: Ford, GM, Stellantis all offer 23% wage increase, end wage tiers, and more

UAW member Brian Bailey has worked at Ford assembly in Wayne for about 27 years. He considers the cost of living adjustments to be a victory.

"I’m really happy to see the COLA come back and use the 2009 formula," Bailey said. "I think that’s going to help out in the long run."

Fain, in his nearly half-hour speech, noted the irony of companies stating that each offer is a record offer and then "two days later there is a new record – what that should tell you is that "there’s room to move."

"We've got cards left to play, and they've got more money to spend," he said. "They want to wait us out. "

Bailey is more than willing to stay on strike until Ford meets the UAW's demands.

"I’m in it for the long haul," he said. 

Fain stated that the previous schedule of Friday plant announcements are no longer the only game plan as evidenced by the Kentucky Ford truck plant move which came on Oct. 11.

More: General Motors latest offer includes 25% compounded wage increase, COLA reinstatement

"GM and Stellantis - with no new plants out, both companies put a lot of money out on the table," Fain said. "Our goal is to get the best agreement possible and not just strike randomly just for the hell of it."