DETROIT (FOX 2) - General Motors and Stellantis slammed the UAW's decision to strike against more plants Friday, calling it unnecessary and refuting what the union said about the automakers' offers.
Workers at all GM and Stellantis parts distribution facilities were called to join the strike after UAW President Shawn Fain said the automakers rejected union proposals and offered deficient cost of living adjustments.
"Both companies are still offering deficient cost of living adjustments that will provide zero increases over the next four years. Both have rejected job security proposals. Both have rejected profit-sharing proposals. And both companies have rejected our proposals to convert temps," he said.
Stellantis fired back at that claim in a statement.
"Stellantis strongly rejects the claims made today by UAW President Shawn Fain. In fact, we presented a very competitive offer and yet never received a response. We continue to approach these negotiations responsibly and bargain in good faith," the automaker's statement read.
The automaker went on to provide its own details about its offers:
Claim: Stellantis is offering a "deficient" cost-of-living allowance that is projected to provide zero increases to employees over the next four years.
COLA formula proven to protect against significant inflation like we experienced over the last years
Wage increases of 10% in the first year followed by 2.5% in each of the succeeding years – for a cumulative total of a 20% increase (21.4% compounded), resulting in all of our current full-time hourly employees earning between $80,000 and $96,000 annually by the end of the contract
We have offered more than $1 billion in additional retirement funding
Claim: Stellantis rejected all of the union’s profit-sharing proposals.
Maintain current competitive profit-sharing which has delivered record pay out over the duration of the last contract, totaling $44,000 including $14,760 most recently for 2022
Claim: Stellantis rejected all of UAW’s job security proposals.
Stellantis currently provides supplemental unemployment benefits to displaced employees above and beyond what employers normally provide
We proposed the following job security proposals which meet the needs of our employees and business
The Company has emphasized product allocation and plant performance are the triggers which enable job security. To this end, the Company is proposing several vehicle allocations and billions of dollars in investments over the duration of the contract
Offered workforce stability with a relevant level of production in U.S. during the duration of the contract
Offered a sustainable solution for Belvidere providing comparable employment opportunities
Claim: Stellantis rejected proposals to convert temporary workers
Starting wage increased by more than 26% for supplementals
GM also released a statement, in which it called the move "unnecessary." The automaker referenced apparently leaked text messages that allegedly showed the union is intentionally dragging out the strike.
When asked about those messages, Fain said it was to divert attention away from the companies.
"Anyone that says that is foolish and this was nothing but a ploy by the companies to put spin out there to try to create a diversion from the fact that they don't take care of the workers they own," he said. "This strike is because of the companies, because the companies don't give a damn about their workers, and it's time they take care of their workers first."
"Today’s strike escalation by the UAW’s top leadership is unnecessary. The decision to strike an additional 18 of our facilities, affecting more than 3,000 team members plus their families and communities, adds validity to the blueprint identified in last night’s leaked texts -- that the UAW leadership is manipulating the bargaining process for their own personal agendas.
"We have contingency plans for various scenarios and are prepared to do what is best for our business, our customers, and our dealers.
"We have now presented five separate economic proposals that are historic, addressing areas that our team members have said matters most: wage increases and job security while allowing
"GM to succeed and thrive into the future. We will continue to bargain in good faith with the union to reach an agreement as quickly as possible."
The union initially was asking for a 46% pay raise, a 32-hour work week with 40 hours of pay, the tier system removed, and restoration of traditional pensions for new hires, among other demands. However, the union said it is now willing to accept a pay raise percentage in the mid-30s.
While more workers at GM and Stellantis were called on to strike, no additional Ford workers were told to join the picket line because Fain said the company had made sufficient progress in negotiations.
Ford isn't there yet, though. Fain said there are still "significant gaps to close" before a deal is agreed upon by the union.
Workers at Ford's Michigan Assembly plant will continue striking. They were among the first UAW members to strike Sept. 15.