Aug 31 (Portal) – The United Auto Workers union said on Thursday it had filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against General Motors (GM.N) and Chrysler parent Stellantis (STLAM.MI), on the grounds that they had refused to negotiate in good faith.
Both GM and Stellantis denied the allegations of unfair working conditions.
Ford Motor (FN) said it had offered a 9% wage increase through 2027, much less than the 46% wage increase sought by the union.
Both allegations, seen by Portal, allege that the automakers have refused to negotiate in good faith over wages and benefits over the past six months
UAW President Shawn Fain said in online comments that the sides were far apart.
“We will fight like hell to get our fair share of justice for workers,” he said. “We can get there — but these companies better step up and be serious.”
Fain said Detroit automakers wanted the ability to close U.S. auto factories and relocate them to low-cost countries, adding that automakers’ threats to close U.S. plants amounted to “economic terrorism.”
Ford said its “generous offer” would provide hourly workers with guaranteed combined wage increases and lump sums of 15%, as well as enhanced benefits.
“Overall, this offer is significantly better than what we estimate workers at Tesla (TSLA.O) and foreign automakers operating in the U.S. earn,” Ford said.
The union’s demands include an immediate 20% wage increase, defined benefit pensions for all workers, shorter work weeks and additional cost of living increases.
The current four-year labor contracts for 146,000 workers at the Detroit Three automakers expire on September 14th.
Fain said neither GM nor Stellantis made counteroffers.
Stellantis said it was shocked by the UAW’s claims “that we did not negotiate in good faith. This is an allegation without any basis.” Stellantis also said it was disappointed that Fain “is more focused on filing frivolous lawsuits than on actual negotiations.”
GM manufacturing chief Gerald Johnson said the company firmly denied allegations of unfair labor. “We believe it is baseless and an insult to bargaining committees. “We have been very focused on negotiating directly and in good faith with the UAW, and we are making progress,” Johnson said.
Last week, the UAW said about 97% of members had voted to authorize a strike if an agreement was not reached by Sept. 14.
The UAW also wants all temporary workers at U.S. automakers to be made permanent, to improve profit sharing, to significantly increase paid time off, and to restore retiree health benefits and cost-of-living adjustments.
The UAW said Ford did not want a cap on contract workers and that those workers would not participate in profit sharing, would earn less than 60% of the top wage for permanent employees and would receive inferior health benefits.
Ford said it would raise starting pay for temporary workers to $20 an hour, a 20% increase, and offer permanent employees a $12,000 cost-of-living adjustment across the contract.
Ford said only 2-3% of Ford’s hourly workforce are temporary workers, the lowest among the Detroit Three.
The UAW said the change to Ford’s profit-sharing formula would have cut payouts by 21% over the past two years, while Ford said it was offering a $5,500 signing bonus for permanent and temporary employees when it ratified the contract.
Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chris Reese and Leslie Adler
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