United Auto Workers president to striking workers: ‘There’s more to be won’

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United Auto Workers union President Shawn Fain told members that all three automakers have now offered record contracts but that the union will continue its strike in a push for even better deals.

“We’ve looked at the companies’ offers,” he told members on a Facebook Live negotiation update Friday afternoon. “In my opinion, and in the opinions of the vice presidents and in the opinion of your national negotiators, there is more to be won.”

Fain did not announce an expansion of the strike, marking only the second week in the five weeks of the strike so far that the union has not expanded its reach. But he insisted the strike will continue until the union gets more for its members.

“These are already record contracts,” he said about the offers from General Motors, Ford and Stellantis. “But they come at the end of decades of record decline. So it’s not enough to be the best ever.”

Earlier on Friday, GM released the details of the latest offer it made to the UAW. It included an immediate 10% pay raise and 13 percentage points of additional pay increases over the life of a contract that would run through early 2028. That’s more money than GM had previously offered.

GM also offered a return of the cost-of-living adjustment to wages to protect members from rising prices, which the company said is likely to raise wages by 30% over the life of the contract when coupled with the guaranteed pay raises.

And GM said it would improve company contributions to the 401(k) retirement plans for those workers hired since 2007, although it did not offer those workers a return to the traditional pension plan that more senior workers at the company receive. A return of that pension plans to workers hired since 2007 had been one of the union’s key bargaining demands.

GM declined to comment on Fain’s remarks. Stellantis didn’t address them directly when asked for comment.

“Negotiations between Stellantis and the UAW continue to be productive, building on the momentum from the past several weeks,” said its statement. “We have made progress on narrowing the gaps on significant issues.”

In a statement, Ford said: “We know that our UAW employees are hurting in this prolonged strike because of lost wages and lost profit sharing. We’re eager to conclude these negotiations with a contract that meaningfully improves their lives and provides a strong future for everyone. We look forward to coming together to build a great company that supports good jobs for generations to come.”

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