Fain said he would reveal the names of the first wave of plants at 10 p.m. EDT Thursday — two hours before contracts expire. He said a full-on strike against every plant also remained on the table.
Fain also revealed details of the automakers’ most recent proposals. The proposed wage increases were 20 percent from Ford, 18 percent from General Motors and 17.5 percent from Stellantis. All three would cut in half the time it takes to make top wages to four years, down from eight years today.
The companies differ on the temporary worker issue, according to the union. Fain said Ford is offering to convert all current temps with 90 days of continuous service into full-time status. GM, he said, was offering “inadequate benefits, no profit-sharing and a meager wage increase,” while Stellantis had a similar offer to GM with “no path to full-time” status.
Regarding cost-of-living adjustments, the union said Ford was willing to restore an old COLA formula but noted it would offer wage protection of “less than $1 over the next four and a half years.” He said GM and Stellantis were offering a formula that would provide zero wage protection over the course of the next contract.
He also said the profit-sharing formulas offered by the companies would be less generous than they are today.
He said all three continue to reject all of the union’s “job security,” “work-life balance” and retiree priorities. The job security priorities include reinstating a jobs bank that would continue to pay workers when they’re laid off, and the work-life balance proposal calls for a four-day workweek at five days’ worth of pay.
“We’re making progress at each of the three negotiating tables, but we’re still very far apart on our key priorities,” Fain said. “We do not yet have offers on the table that reflect the sacrifice and contributions our members have made to these companies.”
GM, in a statement issued after Fain’s broadcast, said: “We continue to bargain directly and in good faith with the UAW and have presented additional strong offers. We are making progress in key areas that we believe are most important to our represented team members.
“This includes historic guaranteed annual wage increases, investments in our U.S. manufacturing plants to provide opportunities for all, and shortening the time for in-progression employees to reach maximum wages.”
“We’re still awaiting the UAW’s response to the offer we presented yesterday.” Stellantis said in a statement. “Our focus remains on bargaining in good faith to have a tentative agreement on the table before the collective bargaining agreement expires.”
Ford CEO Jim Farley responded to Fain’s comments with a statement saying the focus should be on reaching a fair deal rather than “planning strikes and PR events.” He called Ford’s latest offer, which he and Executive Chair Bill Ford presented to the union personally on Tuesday, “historically generous.
“If there is a strike, it’s not because Ford didn’t make a great offer. We have and that’s what we can control,” Farley said. “In fact, we have put four offers on the table starting Aug. 29 and each one has been increasingly generous. We still have not received any genuine counteroffer.”
Fain spoke in grandiose terms on the livestream, quoting Scripture and famed former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, to rally members for what he called “our righteous fight.”
He argued the Detroit 3 could “double our wages” and still be profitable, saying the companies and corporate media wanted “to scare us into thinking workers are the problem.”
He framed the push for a better contract as a battle between the working class and rich.
“This is our defining moment, and it’s time we go to work,” he said.
“Making bold demands and organizing to fight for them is an act of faith,” he said. “These corporations are mountains. Together we can make these mountains move.”