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GM criticizes autoworkers union's contract demands

Published Aug 03, 2023 06:49PM ET Updated Aug 03, 2023 07:37PM ET
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© Reuters. The new GM logo is seen on the facade of the General Motors headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., March 16, 2021. Picture taken March 16, 2021. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
 
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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -General Motors (GM) on Thursday said it expected to offer unionized workers higher wages, but granting the United Auto Workers' (UAW) ambitious contract demands including large pay rises would hurt its ability to make sound business decisions.

Company and union sources told Reuters the UAW was seeking at least a 40% pay hike over the life of the four-year contract, including an initial 20% hike upon ratification.

The UAW said earlier this week that the CEOs of the Detroit Three had won 40% pay hikes on average over the last four years and singled out GM CEO Mary Barra, who received $29 million in 2022 in total compensation.

The UAW presented its economic demands to Chrysler-parent Stellantis on Tuesday, General Motors (NYSE:GM) on Wednesday and Ford on Thursday ahead of the Sept. 14 expiration of the current four-year contracts.

GM, the largest U.S. automaker, said the proposals "would threaten our ability to do what's right for the long-term benefit of the team."

The union said earlier it was seeking double-digit hikes in wages, defined-benefit pensions for all workers and shorter work weeks. It wants to make all temporary workers at U.S. automakers permanent, a substantial increase in paid time off and restore retiree health care benefits and cost of living adjustments.

UAW President Shawn Fain on Tuesday expressed support for a 32-hour work week, down from the traditional 40 hours.

Sources said the union wants the companies to agree to the equivalent of a paid day off per week, at a time of growing trials globally of a four-day working week.

GM said a fair agreement would reward employees but also allow the company to retain its momentum now and into the future.

"We think it's important to protect U.S. manufacturing and jobs in an industry that is dominated by non-unionized competition," GM said.

The UAW did not immediately comment on GM's statement.

Fain on Tuesday said the union demands were its "most audacious and ambitious" proposals in decades.

Fain also said the UAW was proposing to have the right to strike over plant closures and to eliminate a two-tier wage system under which veteran hires earn 25% or more than newer employees.

GM criticizes autoworkers union's contract demands
 

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Comments (2)
Elvis Durant
Elvis Durant Aug 04, 2023 9:53AM ET
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well done workers! 👏 ✔️
Connecticut Yankee
A_Jaundiced_Eye Aug 03, 2023 9:36PM ET
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Five days' pay for four days' work? Who do they think they are - Government Employees?
 
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