Layoffs have begun in response to the United Auto Workers’ (UAW) selective strike at some Detroit Three facilities, bloomberglaw.com reported.
Ford has temporarily laid off about 600 non-striking workers at a Michigan plant while General Motors has warned it could lay off 2,000 non-striking workers in Kansas City. Each company cited internal supply chain issues due to a lack of parts needed for certain assembly workers to do their jobs, the report said.
UAW issues deadline
Meanwhile, the UAW has said more members would strike at GM, Ford and Stellantis facilities from noon Friday (22 September) unless substantial progress wasmade towards new labour contracts.
“Either the Big Three get down to business and work with us to make progress in negotiations, or more locals [union branches] will be called on to stand up and go out on strike,” Bloomberg.com quoted UAW president Shawn Fain as saying in a video released late on Monday.
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The report said the deadline raised stakes for talks between three of the biggest automakers in the US and the union representing 146,000 of their workers. Friday would be a week since the UAW called its first ever walkout across all three of the legacy Detroit manufacturers which is costing the companies output of about 3,200 vehicles a day, according to S&P Global Mobility.
A union representative told Bloomberg earlier no new offers had come from GM, Ford or Stellantis since the union made its latest proposals last Friday, 14 September, just before the strike started at midnight.
Bloomberg, citing “a person familiar with the contract talks”, noted a bargaining update Stellantis issued on Saturday (16 September) had been reported by some media as a new offer but the latest proposal was actually made by the UAW.
Stellantis told Bloomberg on Monday by email it had resumed negotiations and had “constructive” discussions with union representatives. The company said it was offering almost 21% pay raises and was committed to finding a solution for its idled Jeep plant in Belvidere, Illinois.
But Bloomberg also reported that, earlier, over the weekend, the company’s top negotiator has said the Belvidere plant proposal was no longer on the table after the UAW rejected its last offer before the strike deadline.
According to Bloomberg, CNBC, citing unnamed sources, reported Stellantis’ proposal could lead to the closure of 18 facilities, including parts and distribution centres, while the North American HQ and technology centre in Detroit also could be affected.
The report said the UAW had declined to detail its latest offer but the automakers had said the union lowered its demand for a pay raise to 36% from 40%. GM and Ford each countered with offers of 20% raises which the union rejected. The latest offer from Stellantis was a 19.5% raise which increases to 21% when compounded over the duration of the deal.
Bloomberg added the union conducted negotiations with Ford on Saturday 16 September 16, characterising them as “reasonably productive.” It had talks with GM on Sunday 17 and confirmed talks with Stellantis on Monday 18 but didn’t say how those discussions went.