(CBS DETROIT) - United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain says more plants will be called to strike if "serious progress" isn't made with Detroit's big three automakers by noon, Sept. 22.
Fain released a video on Monday, days after the UAW officially went on strike at midnight Friday after no agreement was met with Stellantis, Ford, and General Motors. The automakers initially had until 11:59 p.m., Sept. 14, to meet an agreement with the union.
"Autoworkers have waited long enough to make things right at the Big Three. We're not waiting, and we're not messing around," Fain said in the video.
On Thursday, Fain called on three plants to strike -- General Motors Wentzville Assembly Plant in Missouri (UAW Local 2250, Region 4), Stellantis Toledo Assembly Complex (Local 12, Region 2B), and Ford Michigan Assembly Plant - Final Assembly and Paint in Wayne (Local 900, Region 1A).
Other plants that were not called were instructed to continue working under an expired contract.
"Instead of striking all plants at once, select locals will be called to stand up and walk out on strike. This is our generation's answer to the movement that built our union, the sit-down strikes of 1937," Fain said.
In a statement earlier Monday, Stellantis said it resumed negotiations with UAW.
"The discussion was constructive and focused on where we can find common ground to reach an agreement that provides a bridge to the future by enabling the Company to meet the challenges of electrification. Together with the UAW, we have the opportunity to establish a framework in this contract that will allow the Company to be competitive during this historic transformation and bring our workforce along on this journey. This includes identifying a solution for Belvidere, something we have been committed to from the beginning, and a discussion we want to continue with the UAW.
"Our most recent economic offer was a compelling and strong package – nearly 21% in cumulative raises for hourly employees, an inflation protection measure, reduction of tiers from eight years to four, and $1 billion in retirement funding – all of which would greatly improve the financial outlook for our employees across all categories and for generations to come. It is also a responsible offer that allows us to meet our obligations in support of a greener future.
"We continue to listen to the UAW to identify where we can work together and will continue to bargain in good faith until an agreement is reached. We look forward to getting everyone back to work as soon as possible."
Ford issued a statement Monday night following Fain's announcement:
"We continue to negotiate with the UAW and our focus is on reaching a deal that rewards our employees, allows for the continuation of Ford's unique position as the most American automaker and enables Ford to invest and grow.Bottom line: We're working for a win-win.We are developing responsible contingency plans for further work stoppages, including plans to ship the parts that keep Ford vehicles on the road – especially to keep first responders and other essential services running.In regard to the latest UAW video, we need to fact check Fain:
- In the last 15 years, our North America adjusted EBIT was higher than 2022 three times, in 2013, 2015 and 2016 – 10, eight and seven years ago.
- The UAW's demands would wipe out billions of dollars of profitability that is essential to investing in our future, including creating and sustaining good-paying U.S. jobs, and beating non-union foreign automakers.
- Auto worker wages
- On average, Ford UAW workers are today among some of the best paid manufacturing workers in America.
- The average UAW-represented hourly employee at Ford makes approximately $112,000 per year in wages and benefits under the expired contract. Ford has offered a contract that would bump up that average to $133,000 total in wages and benefits, with $92,000 in cash alone.
- Ford is committed to sharing its success with employees. Over the last four years, represented employees at the top rate received a total of about $47,000 in additional compensation including a retention bonus, profit sharing and inflation bonuses. Ford has averaged $75,900 in profit sharing alone per employee over the last ten years.
- CEO compensation
- Since 2019, Ford's CEO salary is down 6%; total CEO compensation is up 21%, not 40%.
- Stock buybacks
- Since 2019, Ford has only bought back shares twice (at 80% less than volume than GM), to offset dilution from pay and debt
- Car prices
- Roughly 60% of the increase in car prices has been consumed by higher costs – which is why profit margins aren't similarly higher.
- Ford's Sept. 12 offer:
- Significantly increased our proposal on wage increases
- Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA)
- Fully eliminated wage tiers so all employees can achieve industry-leading wages – and shortened to four from eight years the time it takes hourly employees to reach the top wage
- Increased contributions to in-progression retirement savings
- Protected health care benefits that would continue to rank in the top 1% of all employer-sponsored medical plans for lowest employee cost sharing
- Added more paid time off, with up to five weeks of vacation and 17 paid holidays each year (with the addition of Juneteenth)
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