The United Auto Workers union received a new contract proposal from Ford on Tuesday, containing a larger wage hike than the automaker’s previous submission.
Employee pay has been a key point of conflict in the ongoing negotiations between the UAW and Detroit-Three automakers. The union is currently seeking a minimum 30% wage hike over the life of the next contract after lowering its initial target from 46% in the latter half of September. In its previous proposal, Ford offered a 20% increase along with compromises to various other demands, including wage tiers and compensation packages for temporary employees. Although UAW president Shawn Fain praised the company for its willingness to negotiate, that contract was ultimately rejected for failing to meet the union’s salary demands.
Although details of the automaker’s latest proposal are limited, Ford confirmed that its newest submission included a wage hike of “more than 20%.” The United Auto Workers contract also differs from its predecessor in offering profit-sharing ratification bonuses for temporary employees. Terms concerning wage tiers, vacation days and benefits were submitted mostly without alteration. In a statement, Ford CEO Jim Farley discussed the deal’s impact on the brand’s long-term success. “We’ve put an offer on the table that will be costly for the company, especially given our large American footprint and UAW workforce, but one that we believe still allows Ford to invest in the future,” he stated.
The United Auto Workers union has yet to comment on the new proposal. However, given the organization’s previous resistance to sub-30% wage hikes, it seems doubtful that the new Ford contract will be accepted unless the company’s undisclosed offer meets the UAW’s minimum demands. Last Friday, union president Shawn Fain called on additional employees at two Ford and General Motors plants to join the picket line, blaming the two manufacturers for the prolonged negotiations. On Monday, the brands responded with another wave of layoffs at facilities in Ohio and Illinois. The United Auto Workers strike is nearing the end of its third week.