Big automaker Stellantis makes new contract offer to UAW

September 21, 2023

One of the Big Three automakers, Stellantis, on Wednesday offered the United Auto Workers a new contract proposal amid more layoffs and threats to expand the strike.

Stellantis builds vehicles under the Jeep, Ram, Dodge and Chrysler brands for North America. 

Stellantis spokesperson Jodi Tinson said in a company statement, “Stellantis officially passed a 5th offer yesterday, which focused on subcommittee open issues,” though she provided no details about what’s in the contract proposal.

But according to a union negotiator, the new contract offer lacks the job security guarantees the UAW is asking for as automakers make the shift to electric vehicles.

Previous to Stellantis’ new offer, the Big Three automakers proposed roughly 20% raises over the four-and-a-half year term of their proposed deals, though that is only half of what the UAW is demanding. The UAW at one point during the talks offered to lower its demand to 36%.

The UAW is also asking for shorter work weeks and restored pensions along with stronger job security.

The latest offer comes after UAW President Shawn Fain said Monday evening that more union members would walk off the job at noon Friday if no “serious progress” is made in negotiations.

The UAW’s strike began at midnight this past Friday when contract agreements to cover the UAW’s 145,000 members could not be reached, leading to the first-ever nationwide UAW strike being called simultaneously at all of the Big Three automakers in Detroit. 

Nearly 13,000 UAW members walked out at three plants: General Motors in Wentzville, Missouri; Ford in Wayne, Michigan; and Stellanits in Toledo, Ohio.

Both General Motors and Stellantis on Wednesday announced more layoffs that they blamed on damage from the strike.

On Monday, Ford had laid off 600 workers at its Michigan assembly plant’s body construction department, blaming striking workers at its paint shop where the metal parts they make need to be coated promptly for protection.

GM, meanwhile, has said it laid off about 2,000 workers in Kansas at a plant that depends on parts stamped in St. Louis where workers have been on strike since Friday. 

Further, Stellantis said it expects to lay off more than 300 workers in Ohio and Indiana because of “storage contraints” due to the walkout in Toledo. 

Additionally on Wednesday, some 190 UAW workers walked off the job at ZF, a Mercedes supplier in Alabama that is covered under a different contract than the one involving the Big Three. The ZF strikers are contesting wages, a lower scale for new workers, and health care benefits. 

On Friday President Biden, who touts himself to be the most union-friendly President in U.S. history, urged the automakers to ensure that workers are given their “fair share” of the “record corporate profits” the Big Three have enjoyed in recent years.

Profits at the Big Three collectively increased by about 92% in the last decade, according to analysis released last week from the Economic Policy Institute. CEO pay rose by about 40 percent in the same period.

PHOTO: @UAW

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