During a recent Facebook Livestream, Shawn Fain, the president of the United Auto Workers, emphasized the importance of negotiating a 32-hour work week, the right to strike when a plant closes, and paid volunteer work in upcoming discussions with the Detroit Three.
Fain refers to the demands as “the members’ demands” to the Detroit Three. The demands being made this week of General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis is another illustration of how the administration is breaking tradition to increase transparency and rank-and-file participation in the wake of a protracted corruption scandal. Priorities in the past, according to Fain, were discussed in private with the firms and referred to as “the president’s demands” or “the economic demands.”
The list of ten demands essentially restated what officials have been saying for months prior to the talks that began last month in advance of the contract’s expiration on September 14:
- Eliminate pay and benefit tiers
- Restore pensions and cost-of-living adjustments
- Guarantee retiree medical benefits for all workers
Fain noted that due to the Detroit Three CEOs’ total compensation increasing by 40% over the previous four years, negotiators will demand “double-digit” pay raises. He also recommends that all temporary employees be converted to full-time positions and that their future usage be constrained.
In addition to the roughly quarter-trillion dollars automakers have made over the preceding 10 years, Fain criticized the automakers for their rising and record profits reported in the first half of 2023. To invest the billions of dollars necessary for an electrified future, corporations have underlined their need for capital. Additionally, they pay full-time staff tens of thousands in profit-sharing incentives yearly, but not temporary or supplemental workers.
The union delivered the demands to Stellantis on August 1 and intends to share them with GM and Ford this week. According to Stellantis spokeswoman Jodi Tinson, the meeting was “very productive,” and the demands align with the prioritizations shared between Stellantis and UAW.