The United Auto Workers union received a counteroffer from General Motors, which included a proposed 16% wage increase for the top earners in its facilities and a 56% pay increase for new workers who make less. Shawn Fain, president of the UAW, promptly responded and called the proposal “insulting.”
The wage increase is marginally more than what Ford, a competing company, promised the union but remains far less than the 46% pay increase that would arise from the UAW’s initial offer. Additionally, GM shortened the period for the highest wage, increased the pay for temporary workers, and added $11,000 in payments to protect against inflation.
GM made the offer with only one week left until the deadline for renewal of the union’s contract with Detroit’s Big 3. Fain also seeks to reestablish guaranteed pensions, cost-of-living adjustments, retiree healthcare, and a significant boost.
The GM bid beats Ford’s slightly, but Fain rejected it because he claims it, “Insults our very worth.” However, the offers from GM and Ford do not include retiree benefits, which were phased out for new hires in 2007.
Fain’s initial proposal reinstated retiree benefits, a significant component of the additional labor costs that automakers predict will increase fees by $80 billion over four years.
With a $6,000 one-time payment and an additional $5,000 throughout the contract, GM offered to provide inflation protection. The entire amount is $1,000 less than what Ford offered.
After six years, both companies pay entry-level employees the top rate of roughly $32 per hour. After four years, the GM offer would bring them to a minimum of $28. Additionally, GM proposed designating Juneteenth as a paid holiday.