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UAW strike Day 6: Stellantis sends new proposal to union

Stellantis has delivered the first new proposal to the UAW from one of the Detroit Three since the union's strike against the automakers began last week, according to a union source familiar with the situation.

The source, who wasn't authorized to speak publicly, said Wednesday the union is reviewing the proposal but did not provide details of the offer.

Stellantis spokeswoman Jodi Tinson provided a company statement, saying "Stellantis officially passed a 5th offer yesterday, which focused on subcommittee open issues." She also provided no details.

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Additional UAW strike targets expected Friday

United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain is expected to lay out additional strike targets on Friday if, as he said in a recent update, Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Stellantis fail to make "substantial progress" toward a "fair agreement" by then.

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Despite recent comments about active company proposals, the union has said that prior to the new offer from Stellantis, owner of Jeep, Ram, Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat, that it was awaiting counterproposals from all three automakers. The automakers had made numerous proposals prior to the targeted so-called Stand-Up Strike, which launched at plants in Ohio, Michigan and Missouri after the expiration of contracts last Thursday night.

Otherwise, on Day 6 of the historic UAW strike, talks were said to be ongoing. The union is negotiating with all three Detroit automakers simultaneously, but separately.

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GM, UAW talks 'in the toilet'

The discussion between GM and the union is not at an impasse, but “is in the toilet” is how one source familiar with the discussions put it. The two sides were still talking, but were very far apart on some key issues. There has not been any further movement in GM’s last offer, made on Sept. 14, to the UAW.

GM CEO Mary Barra has called the offer a “record” in terms of wage increases and other benefits. The union has rejected it, reportedly due to continued concerns about a cost-of-living adjustment, ending tiers and reinstating a pension.

A source familiar with the talks said GM was not interested in offering a pension again, noting that the automaker provides a 401(k) match up to 6.4%. Nor is GM interested in giving the union its requested 32-hour workweek for 40 hours pay.

Union officials have generally dismissed the prior proposals from each of the automakers as inadequate at a time of record company profits and high inflation.

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Layoffs attributed to strike

Other news of note during the day involved a number of layoff announcements attributed to the strike.

  • Stellantis said it would lay off almost 370 workers in Ohio and Indiana as a result of impacts to the company\'s Toledo Assembly Complex, where the Jeep Gladiator and Wrangler are built.

  • GM said it idled its Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kansas, and most of the 2,000 workers across two shifts there will be laid off indefinitely as a result of the strike at GM\'s Wentzville Assembly Plant in Missouri, where the company builds its midsize pickups and cargo vans. GM builds the Cadillac XT4 SUV and the Chevrolet Malibu sedan at Fairfax Assembly.

  • Detroit-based seating supplier LM Manufacturing laid off about 650 employees, said LM Manufacturing spokeswoman Tracy Fuerst. LM is a joint venture between Canadian auto supplier Magna International Inc. and LAN Manufacturing. She said LM Manufacturing supplies parts for Ford’s Bronco SUV made at the Michigan Assembly Plant, part of which is on strike.

The UAW did not address the layoffs Wednesday, but Fain has previously blasted GM and Ford for layoffs attributed to the strike potentially affecting thousands of workers in Michigan and Kansas. Fain has said the union will compensate laid-off workers.

In other notable news that could bear watching as the strike against the Detroit Three unfolds, the UAW announced a separate strike against a supplier in the South. The union said in a social media posting Wednesday that 190 workers at ZF in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, are now on strike. "These members of UAW Local 2083 (@uawregion8) supply front (axles) to Mercedes, and have been fighting for a fair contract that ends tiers, raises wages, and provides decent healthcare," the union said.

Contact Eric D. Lawrence: elawrence@freepress.com. Become a subscriber.

A UAW source said Stellantis has made a new contract proposal to the union.
A UAW source said Stellantis has made a new contract proposal to the union.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: UAW strike update: Day 6 includes new Stellantis offer, plant layoffs