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United Auto Workers (UAW) presented a fresh counter-proposal on September 28 to Stellantis, the parent company of Chrysler, just one day before the union planned to strike at additional Detroit Three automotive facilities, with no serious progress in ongoing labour negotiations, reported Reuters.

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A UAW representative confirmed the new proposal as discussions continued with Stellantis, General Motors (GM), and Ford Motor, marking the fourteenth day of the strike. The UAW and the Detroit Three have remained significantly apart on crucial matters. As of Thursday, the UAW’s stance included demands for a 40% wage increase for workers, cost of living adjustments linked to inflation, job or pay guarantees, the elimination of lower wages for lower seniority workers and defined benefit pensions.

Also read: UAW threatens to expand strike against Ford, GM, and Chrysler

The compensation for workers involved in producing batteries for electric vehicles is one major issue. Ford said this week that it was postponing a $3.5 billion battery plant in Michigan due to concerns about its competitive viability, a move that drew criticism from the UAW.

The automakers proposed a 20% wage increase but offered less generous cost of living and retirement benefits. They have also not accepted UAW’s request for new hires to receive top pay after 90 days on the job. While the UAW did not officially comment, there were reports suggesting union negotiators were aiming for a 30% wage increase, inclusive of cost of living adjustments.

Also read: UAW strike: Why Ford, GM, other automakers’ employees protesting | Explainer

In an online address, UAW President Shawn Fain plans to reveal the union’s next steps today at 10 a.m. ET (1400 GMT). Earlier this week, Fain hosted US President Joe Biden historic visit to a union picket line and met with GM negotiators on September 27.

Stellantis had previously criticised the UAW’s rhetoric and said, “The deliberate use of inflammatory and violent rhetoric is dangerous and needs to stop. The companies are not ‘the enemy’ and we are not at ‘war.'” Stellantis added, “put a record offer on the table and are working hard to reach an agreement as quickly as possible.”

Also read: Elon Musk: Traditional automakers like General Motors and Ford could go ‘bankrupt’ if…

Last week, the UAW expanded strikes from the initial three assembly plants to 38 GM. Due to the strike’s impact, Stellantis laid off over 350 workers in Ohio and Indiana last week. Ford furloughed 600 workers at a Michigan plant, and GM furloughed 2,000 workers, leading to a halt in production at a Kansas plant.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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Updated: 29 Sep 2023, 08:16 AM IST


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