In a significant shift, General Motors (GM), Ford, and Stellantis extended an olive branch to over 34,000 striking auto workers on Friday, presenting an offer that includes a substantial 30% wage increase, inclusive of cost of living adjustments. This marks a substantial improvement from the initial demands put forth by the United Auto Workers (UAW).
The proposed wage increase is slated to roll out as a 10% bump in the first year, with an additional compounded 25% rise over the life of the agreement. The strike, now in its fifth week, was initiated on September 15 with the UAW’s call for a 40% wage hike, encompassing an immediate 20% raise. This demand also encompassed the elimination of differing pay scales for UAW members, reinstatement of defined benefit pension schemes, and the expansion of union accords to encompass battery plant laborers.
GM’s revised offer is now in alignment with Ford’s proposal, which also stands at a 23% wage augmentation, along with other enhancements to benefits. According to a statement from GM, “The majority of our workforce will make $40.39 per hour, or roughly $84,000 a year by the end of this agreement’s term.”
Approximately an hour prior to the presentation by UAW chief Shawn Fain, Bloomberg News reported that Stellantis has similarly raised its wage offering to 23%. The parent company of Chrysler, Stellantis, refrained from providing commentary on the wage figures. Professor Harley Shaiken of the University of California, Berkeley, noted, “These tentative offers suggest we may be in the endgame. In effect, Ford has set the dimensions of the pattern, but GM is contributing to that. We’ve got a ways to go, but there’s clearly movement.”
Earlier this week, Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of Ford, cautioned about the escalating impact of the strike on the U.S. economy. According to the economic consultancy Anderson Economic Group, the strike is projected to result in total economic losses of $7.7 billion, with the Detroit Three alone accounting for $3.45 billion.
GM is also putting forth $21 per hour in wages for temporary workers, marking a $1 increase from their prior offer. The UAW is scheduled to provide an update via Facebook Live at 4:00 pm ET on the progress of what they termed as “intense negotiations” with the three automakers.
In the face of escalating tensions, the proposed wage increases from GM, Ford, and Stellantis signal a pivotal moment in the ongoing negotiations, offering a glimmer of hope for resolution in this auto industry standoff.