The UAW and Detroit Three Car Makers Close to Agreement on Key Job Provisions

Industry observers and insiders believe that the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the Detroit Three carmakers could reach an agreement sooner if they focus on certain key job provisions. While the union will likely have to give up on their demand for a 32-hour workweek for 40 hours of pay, there are other important demands that the UAW needs to win, such as a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), according to sources familiar with the ongoing contract talks.

One anonymous source stated that the union will not accept any agreement without COLA, emphasizing its importance. However, the same source also confirmed that a 32-hour workweek is not realistic and will not be a part of the agreement. This sentiment was echoed by an industry expert, who stated that carmakers are pressing to find a deal, but it depends on finding the right balance between the union’s demands and what the companies can provide.

In terms of COLA, General Motors (GM), Stellantis, and Ford Motor Co. have made offers to address this issue. GM has offered “inflation protection” for its highest-paid workers, while Stellantis and Ford have also offered versions of inflation protection and COLA respectively. Ford has had productive conversations with the UAW regarding this matter.

Other important issues that need to be resolved include reducing the time it takes for employees to reach the top wage level and addressing wage tiers, both of which the UAW wants to see eliminated. It is crucial for both sides to reach an agreement promptly to avoid severe financial damage to the companies and their communities.

Since the strike began, there have already been consequences, such as temporary layoffs at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant and planned layoffs at GM’s Fairfax Assembly plant. The UAW’s demands include eliminating wage tiers, a 40% wage increase over the contract’s duration, restoring cost-of-living allowances, a defined benefit pension for all workers, the right to strike over plant closures, limited use of temporary workers, increased benefits for current retirees, and a reduced workweek with more paid time off.

While the 32-hour workweek proposal has been discussed, it is unlikely to be included in the final agreement. However, negotiations are ongoing, and both sides are working towards finding a solution that meets their respective needs.

– Industry observers and insiders
– Anonymous source familiar with ongoing contract talks
– UAW report
– Detroit Free Press
– Balbinder Singh Gill – Assistant Professor of Finance and Labor Expert at Stevens Institute of Technology
– UAW President Shawn Fain