Watch CBS News

2023 UAW strike update: GM agrees to place electric vehicle battery plants under national contract

UAW President Shawn Fain says progress is being made with the Big Three
UAW President Shawn Fain says progress is being made with the Big Three 03:32

(CBS DETROIT) - UAW President Shawn Fain made an announcement on Friday, sharing the latest bargaining updates in the union's historic strike against the Big Three automakers. 

Fain announced significant progress in negotiations with General Motors and no additional strikes. 

UAW President Shawn Fain provides update on negotiation talks with the Big Three 15:32

Major breakthrough with GM

After threatening to strike a major General Motors plant in Arlington, Texas, Fain said the automaker has agreed to place electric vehicle battery plants under a national contract with the UAW. 

"This week, GM did something that was unthinkable until just today," said Fain. "They agreed to put the future of this industry under our national agreement. This victory is a direct result of the power of our membership. It's your willingness to stand up when called. It's your commitment to winning what you are owed. The companies see it. The world sees it. And today, I was ready to call on one of GM's biggest and most important plants to stand up. And it was that threat that brought GM to the table."  

Even though the strike at the Arlington plant was avoided, here's what's made at that facility:

  • Chevrolet: Tahoe and Suburban
  • GMC: Yukon and Yukon XL
  • Cadillac: Escalade and Escalade-V

GM issued the following statement after Fain's announcement: 

"Negotiations remain ongoing, and we will continue to work towards finding solutions to address outstanding issues. Our goal remains to reach an agreement that rewards our employees and allows GM to be successful into the future."

Negotiation updates

Two of the big three automakers committed to a cost of living adjustment. Ford and Stellantis have agreed, and Fain said General Motors is not far behind. 

In addition, Ford has given up a $1.50 tool allowance, Stellantis is at $1.00 and General Motors has not budged.

Fain also said they have made significant progress fighting for pension increases and getting subcommittees addressed. 

"We're still fighting hard to win retirement security for both our pre-2007 and post-2007 hires," Fain said.  

The UAW president ended his announcement, saying it's back to the bargaining table to win three record contracts. 

"We know their pain points, we know their moneymakers, and we know the plants they really don't want to see struck. And they know that we've got more cards left to play," Fain said. "We're not going to let one company fall behind and wait for movement at another table. We're not going to let them sit back and lowball us while others make progress. We expect results at every company. And we've been crystal clear on how you catch a strike and how you avoid one."  

UAW President Shawn Fain provides update on negotiation talks with the Big Three 15:32

Stellantis provides update on recent offer to UAW

"We continue to have good momentum at the bargaining table and have been working diligently with the UAW over the last week to build on that. We are making progress, but there are gaps that still need to be closed. Since the beginning of these negotiations, our focus hasn't wavered – that is, to reach a balanced agreement as soon as possible that establishes the framework that will allow the Company to be competitive and sustainable in a rapidly changing market and brings our workforce along on the journey. We recently made a serious proposal to the UAW that reinforces our previous commitments: 

• Provide significant wage increases of 21.4% when compounded through 2027 for all full-time hourly employees
• Implement immediate 10% wage increase for most employees upon contract ratification
• Accelerate time to reach top wage rate for In-Progression employees (4 years, instead of 8 years)
• Raise starting wage rate for Supplemental employees to $20/hour, a 26.7% increase
• Eliminate wage tiers for Mopar employees
• Increase paid holidays to 18 in some years with the addition of Juneteenth
• Provide cost-of-living adjustments calculated every quarter, added to every hour earned and included in weekly paychecks
• Invest billions in the U.S. to provide job security
• Contribute additional $1 billion in retirement funding
• Provide significant improvements to the Company's 401(k) contribution for In-Progression employees 

Additionally, the Company and union have discussed various solutions to address job security for all of our employees, including those in Belvidere. Beyond our significant economic offer, we also proposed a number of other enhanced benefits. If accepted, this record proposal would bring our represented employees immediate financial benefits, improve work-life balance and secure jobs through the term of the contract. In fact, by the end of this contract, all of our represented employees would see significant increases to their annual salary. Below is what they could expect:

While we still have some work to do, I remain optimistic that our discussions are providing a pathway to a tentative agreement. It would be one that fairly rewards our workforce while preserving our ability to compete with non-union manufacturers and protects the future of the Company for our employees, our families and our customers. With more than 8,000 of our colleagues on the picket line, some now in their third week, we are committed to continuing this momentum, so we can get everyone back to work building the vehicles that our customers want and that enable their freedom of movement."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.