The United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against the Detroit Three automakers is entering its third day with no immediate resolution in sight.
Negotiations between the UAW and Ford Motor on Saturday were described as “reasonably productive,” while Chrysler-parent company Stellantis announced an increase in their contract offer.
Approximately 12,700 UAW workers continue their strike, targeting three U.S. assembly plants belonging to the Detroit Three automakers.
This labor action was initiated after the expiration of the previous four-year labor agreements at 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Representatives from the UAW and the Detroit Three automakers, namely General Motors (GM), Ford, and Stellantis, resumed talks on Saturday, following the launch of one of the most ambitious industrial labor actions in the United States in decades by the UAW.
Stellantis has stated that the main bargaining talks are set to resume on Monday, with some subcommittee negotiations scheduled for Sunday at General Motors. UAW President Shawn Fain is also scheduled to appear on two national news programs on Sunday.
Stellantis has increased its offer, proposing a four-and-a-half-year contract term with raises totaling 20%, including an immediate 10% increase, matching proposals from GM and Ford.
However, these offers fall short of the UAW’s demand for a 40% wage hike by 2027, including an immediate 20% raise.
Mark Stewart, North American Chief Operating Officer for Stellantis, revealed that the UAW rejected a proposal to restart operations at the Belvidere, Illinois assembly plant.
This decision was contingent on reaching an agreement before the contract’s expiration. The plant had been idled in late February due to rising electric vehicle production costs.
The UAW criticized Stellantis, accusing them of using the Illinois plant and its workers as bargaining chips. Stellantis responded by expressing willingness to negotiate the plant’s future and accused the UAW of prioritizing the strike over resolving the Belvidere issue.
The strikes have had significant repercussions, halting production at three plants in Michigan, Ohio, and Missouri, affecting the production of vehicles like the Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler, and Chevrolet Colorado.
Ford announced the indefinite layoff of 600 workers at a Michigan plant due to the strike’s impact, while GM warned around 2,000 workers at a Kansas car plant that it might shut down due to parts shortages stemming from the strike at a GM Missouri plant.
In addition to higher wages, the UAW is demanding shorter workweeks, the restoration of defined benefit pensions, and enhanced job security as automakers transition to electric vehicles.
The strike’s outcome remains uncertain, with both sides continuing negotiations in an effort to find common ground.