FOX 2 (WJBK) – Only three days left, and Stellantis said they made progress with the UAW over the weekend.
It posted an executive statement on the website – Stellantis Negotiations 2023 – saying the union and subcommittee for the automaker had reached tentative agreements on several areas, such as health and safety.
But UAW leadership says they’re still far from over the money.
“Things are moving but they’re moving very slowly,” UAW President Sean Fein said of the Stellantis negotiations.
The union wants a 46 percent wage hike, scrapping the pay floor.
Stellantis previously went to 14.5 percent in a proposed deal.
Ford has offered a combined increase of 15 percent.
GM has proposed a 10 percent increase with mixed inflation bonuses.
The union has rejected counteroffers from three Detroit automakers in recent days.
“I think openly, there can be things going on behind the scenes in the discussion room that we’re not — that’s not being shared with the public,” said Alan Amici.
More UAW-Big 3 negotiation coverage:
President and CEO of Amici Automotive Research Center. He says when the discussion turns to the wire, much of the debate is how the Big Three will move forward in the world of electric vehicles.
The EV transition is an expensive one, draining a lot of cash from automaker profits.
“Engineering teams are shifting from engine and transmission development to batteries, battery monitor systems, battery cell technology,” he said. “And so it’s a big change for these companies.”
Amici walks us through some valuable basics.
“When you go to an EV, you’re going from a very complex 8- and 10-speed transmission to a single, one- or two-speed transmission. So, much simpler components, much lighter – fewer moving parts…more reliable and so your Engineering effort is significantly reduced.”
There are also changes related to emissions.
“When you move from an EV, you no longer have that kind of compliance so all of your overhead for emissions and regulatory issues related to emissions go away,” Amici said. “And so you don’t need that team to develop that technology.”
The union says there is still plenty of money to bring workers’ wages up to par with those of big car owners.
“Vehicle prices in the Big Three and overall have risen 30 percent over the past four years,” Fein said. “Our wages are up 6 percent.”