June 19, 2024

by David Shepardson

(Reuters) – The United Auto Workers strike against the Detroit Three automakers is set to enter a third day on Sunday, but with no immediate resolution in sight.

On Saturday, negotiators from the United Auto Workers and Ford Motor had “reasonably productive discussions” toward a new contract, the union said, while Chrysler-parent Stellantis said it had boosted its contract offer.

About 12,700 UAW workers are on strike as part of a coordinated labor action targeting three U.S. assembly plants — the Detroit Three — after the last four-year labor agreement expired at 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday at three automakers. One in each.

Union negotiators and representatives from General Motors, Ford and Stellantis resumed talks Saturday, a day after the UAW launched the most ambitious U.S. industrial labor action in decades.

Stellantis said the main bargaining talks would resume on Monday, while some subcommittee talks at General Motors are scheduled for Sunday. UAW President Shawn Fenn is scheduled to appear on two national news programs Sunday.

Stellantis said Saturday it had increased its offer, offering a 20% increase over the four-and-a-half year contract period, including an immediate 10% increase. This matches proposals from GM and Ford.

The proposal is about half of the 40% wage increase the UAW is seeking through 2027, which also includes an immediate 20% increase.

Mark Stewart, Stellantis’ North American chief operating officer, told reporters Saturday that the UAW rejected a proposal to restart operations at an assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois, noting that its proposal was not subject to agreement before contract expiration. Depended on arrival.

In late February, Stellantis indefinitely shut down operations at the Belvidere plant, citing the rising costs of electric vehicle production.

The UAW criticized the company’s position at the Illinois plant, saying that now “they’re taking it back. That’s how they see these workers. A bargaining chip.”

Stellantis said late Saturday he was willing to talk about the plant’s future. “The truth is that UAW leadership ignored Belvidere in favor of a strike,” the company said.

The strike has halted production at three plants in Michigan, Ohio and Missouri that produce the Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler and Chevrolet Colorado as well as other popular models.

On Friday, Ford said it was indefinitely laying off 600 workers due to the impact of the strike at the Michigan plant that makes the Bronco, and GM told about 2,000 workers at a Kansas car plant that their factory could potentially close. Will be done. A strike at a GM Missouri plant will halt production Monday or Tuesday due to a parts shortage.

In addition to higher wages, the UAW is demanding shorter work weeks, restoration of defined benefit pensions and stronger job protections as automakers make the EV transition.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Kim Coghill)


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