DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co said on Thursday it had made a counteroffer to the United Auto Workers (UAW) union in an attempt to end the union’s strike against the U.S. automaker.
Separately, UAW President Shawn Fain plans to update the status of talks with the Detroit Three automakers at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) on Friday in the three-week strike.
Fine posted on social media a photo that appeared to be from the reality TV show “The Bachelorette” featuring the logos of the three Detroit automakers superimposed over the heads of three contestants. He encouraged people to watch on Friday “to see who gets the rose!”
Fain used previous weekly updates to announce the strike was expanding to additional plants at automakers that he said were not making significant progress toward new labor deals.
The first-ever targeted strike against the three Detroit automakers, including Ford (FN) and Stellantis (STLAM.MI), began on September 15.
GM said the offer is the sixth since the start of talks between the two sides. The UAW said Monday it has submitted a new contract offer to General Motors. GM said Monday that despite the supply, “significant gaps remain.”
“We believe we have a compelling proposition that will reward our team members and allow GM to succeed and thrive in the future,” the company said Thursday.
A source familiar with the talks said there were moves in a few key areas.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that negotiators for the UAW and Ford have narrowed their differences on pay raises following a new offer from the automaker amid “really active” talks, according to people familiar with the bargaining.
In addition to Ford, talks with Stellantis, Chrysler’s parent company, are underway and have been active in recent days, the sources said. Stellantis declined to comment.
Ford said on Tuesday it had made a new “comprehensive” offer that includes “an overall pay increase of more than 20%, not compounded” with a double-digit raise in the first year. Ford did not elaborate on the details.
That proposal, when combined with cost-of-living adjustments previously offered by the automaker, could bring the total wage increase offer closer to 30% over the life of the contract, people familiar with the situation said.
However, the UAW and Ford have not announced agreements on other important issues, including wages and union representation at future battery plants, and the union’s push to return to retirement plans that guarantee a set level of benefits.
In a sign that Detroit automakers are still bracing for a long struggle, General Motors on Wednesday secured a new $6 billion line of credit, estimating the cost of the United Auto Workers strike at about $200 million during the third quarter, a company spokesman said.
Meanwhile, workers represented by the UAW in talks with Volvo Group-owned Mack Trucks (VOLVb.ST) will receive a 19% wage increase over five years, according to a summary of the tentative agreement seen by Reuters.
(Additional reporting by David Shepardson, Ben Klayman and Joseph White; Editing in Detroit by Chizuo Nomiyama and Matthew Lewis)
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