Stellantis ups display; Ford, GM to lay off workers due to ripple effects

The UAW strike against the Big Three automakers is entering its fourth day, with not much movement in sight as both sides appear stuck in a stalemate.

Over the weekend, Stellantis improved its offer to the UAW, offering an immediate 10% pay increase, with a 21% pay increase over the course of the contract. Although the levels will remain, Stellantis said it will reduce the number of years union members receive the highest pay, from eight to four. Stellantis said it also offered an “inflation protection measure” to offset inflation costs, though it did not provide details.

In addition, Stellantis said it is willing to negotiate the future of the automaker’s Belvidere, Illinois, assembly plant, which was idled earlier this year. The UAW has strongly criticized the plant’s closing and now says Stellantis is using the plant’s future as a “bargaining chip.”

Members of the United Auto Workers strike at a Ford Michigan assembly plant on September 16, 2023 in Wayne, Michigan. This is the first time in history that the UAW has struck all three major automakers, Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis. At the same time. (Bill Poliano/Getty Images)

UAW President Shawn Fain appeared on the talk show circuit Sunday, criticizing the automakers and warning that negotiations were dragging their feet.

“Progress is slow,” Fine said on MSNBC’s “The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart,” adding, “I don’t really want to say we’re closer.” Fine also declined to provide details on plans for a possible second wave of strikes at factories.

About 12,700 UAW workers walked out and remained on strike as part of a coordinated plan that affected three separate plants. The UAW is demanding a roughly 40% wage increase, cost of living adjustments (COLA) built into the future contract, end-of-pay “levels,” and a defined-benefit retirement plan, among other things.

The ripple effects of the current strikes — at GM’s Wentzville, Missouri, plant (which assembles midsize trucks and full-size pickups), Stellantis’ Toledo assembly (Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator), and Ford’s Michigan assembly plant in Wayne (midsize Ranger). Pickup and Bronco SUV) – it is starting to be felt on both sides.

After marches at strike sites, Ford said it would lay off 600 workers at a different part of its Michigan assembly plant, due to striking workers in that plant’s paint and assembly department.

“This layoff is the result of a strike in the final assembly and paint departments at the Michigan assembly plant, because components made by these 600 employees use materials that must be electronically coated for protection. Electroplating has been completed in the paint department,” Ford said in a statement. who went on strike.

Additionally, GM said a strike at its Wentzville Assembly plant in Missouri affected production at its Fairfax, Kansas, plant, meaning 2,000 workers at the Fairfax site could be laid off by the end of the week. GM’s Fairfax plant assembles the Cadillac XT4 crossover and the Chevrolet Malibu sedan.

“(The layoffs) are due to a shortage of critical stamping operations provided by Wentzville’s stamping operations to Fairfax,” GM said in a statement. “We operate under an expired agreement at Fairfax. Unfortunately, there are no provisions that would allow sub-payment by the company in these circumstances.”

Pras Subramanian is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. You can follow it Twitter and on Instagram.

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