UAW angrily throws Stellantis’ contract offer in the trash

UAW angrily throws Stellantis' contract offer in the trash

By David Shepardson

(Reuters) – Union Auto Workers (UAW) President Sean Fine angrily tossed contract proposals from Stellantis into the trash on Tuesday, saying Chrysler’s parent is seeking too many concessions in ongoing contract talks.

“Stellantis’ proposals are a slap in the face,” Fine said during an online chat, revealing that the company is proposing cuts to health care coverage, fewer vacation days for new employees, employer cuts to 401(k) contributions and higher temporary caps for employees.

“Management chose to spit in our faces.”

While chatting he throws a copy of Stellantis’ proposal into a trash can. “That’s where you belong—in the trash—because that’s what it is,” Fine said.

The UAW also said the company opposes an end to double-tier wages, a practice of new workers being paid much less than veteran workers. It said Stellantis is threatening to share profits and is not offering to build a new car at a now-closed Illinois assembly plant.

Fine cited an August 1 statement Stellantis made to Reuters that the automaker “is not seeking a franchise agreement.”

Stellantis did not immediately comment.

The UAW is seeking a wage increase of more than 40% over four years, significant additional leave and the restoration of previously canceled defined pensions for new workers.

The current four-year contracts with Stellantis, General Motors, and Ford Motor expire on September 14th.

Fain sent a warning Tuesday to the three Detroit automakers: “The clock is ticking—it’s time to get to work.”

Two people briefed on the matter told Reuters that the automakers estimated that UAW contract orders could raise the current average labor rate of $60 per hour to more than $150 per hour.

The UAW is seeking wage increases of more than 40% over the life of the contract, including an initial 20% increase upon ratification and four annual 5% wage increases beginning in September 2024, according to sources and a copy of the proposal.

The union wants to make all temporary workers at US automakers permanent, add a significant increase in paid vacation and restore retiree health care benefits and cost of living adjustments. The UAW wants new restrictions on temporary workers and for them to receive profit sharing.

(Reporting by David Shepherdson; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Margarita Choi)

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