Talks between Detroit-Three automakers and the United Auto Workers union have accelerated since last week, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Reuters on Thursday reported that contract negotiations with Stellantis had recently become more “active” from the preceding weeks. Remarks from United Auto Workers president Shawn Fain corroborate this claim. Last Friday, the union escalated its strike efforts against Ford and General Motors, criticizing the two brands for delaying progress towards a deal, but declined to further target Stellantis. During a social media livestream, Fain explained that the car manufacturer had opened a last-minute dialogue with UAW leadership, in which it expressed interest in compromising on several key union demands. Although United Auto Workers members were ordered to maintain their current strikes against the car manufacturer, the news of active discussions could mean an agreement with Stellantis is in the near future.
Ford also made progress earlier this week, submitting a new counteroffer to the union, which contained a “more than 20%” wage increase. The automaker’s previous proposal was denied primarily for failing to meet the UAW’s requested 30% pay raise. Although neither side has confirmed the exact amount offered, Reuters reports that the number could come close to the United Auto Workers union’s demands, based on comments from industry sources. In a statement, Ford CEO Jim Farley remarked, “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.”
General Motors seems to be the holdout amongst the Detroit-Three companies. GM executives have been some of the most vocal in criticizing United Auto Workers leadership both for their ambitious demands and reliance on strikes to force a compromise. The car manufacturer estimates it lost $200 million in the third quarter due to the UAW strike, which promises to continue well into Q4. In possible preparation for a prolonged fight, General Motors obtained a new credit line for $6 billion on Wednesday. Although the union has previously expressed gratitude to Stellantis and Ford for their willingness to negotiate, it has offered no such praise for GM since talks began in July.