UAW files complaints with NLRB against GM and Stellantis over contract talks

UAW files complaints with NLRB against GM and Stellantis over contract talks

UAW President Sean Fine addresses union members during a solidarity march Sunday in Warren, Michigan, August 2019. 20, 2023

Michael Wayland/CNBC

DETROIT — The United Auto Workers has filed unfair labor practices charges against automakers General Motors and Stellantis with the National Labor Relations Board for not negotiating with the union in good faith or in a timely manner, UAW President Sean Fine said Thursday night.

Fine said Thursday’s filings came after the companies did not respond to the union’s demands in a timely manner. The union did not file a complaint against Ford Motor, and Fine said the company responded to the UAW’s demands with a counterproposal that he strongly criticized.

“GM and Stellantis’ willful refusal to bargain in good faith is not only offensive and counterproductive, it is also illegal,” Fine said during a Facebook Live broadcast. “That is why today our union filed unfair labor practices, or ULPs, charges against both GM and Stellantis with the National Labor Relations Board.”

GM did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment. The union and NLRB also did not immediately respond regarding additional details of the filings.

Stellantis said it had not yet received the NLRB complaint, “but was shocked by Mr. Fine’s claims that we did not negotiate in good faith.”

“This is an allegation with no basis in fact, and we are disappointed to learn that Mr. Fine is more focused on filing frivolous legal charges than on actual plea bargaining,” the company said in an emailed statement. “We will vigorously defend this charge when the time comes, but for now we are more focused on continuing to bargain in good faith in order to reach a new agreement. We will not allow Mr. Fine’s tactics to distract us from this important work of securing the future for our employees.”

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Regarding Ford’s latest proposal, Finn described it as a “facilitator.” He said it includes a 9% pay increase over the four-year term of the deal, one-time lump sum bonuses, and unlimited use of temporary workers who are paid less and don’t get the same benefits. The company also rejected “all” of the union’s job security and “quality of life proposals” such as additional paid leave and a shorter workweek, Fine said.

“Ford’s wage proposals not only fail to meet our needs, they insult our very value,” Fine said.

In response to the comments, Ford released a lengthy statement from CEO Jim Farley and additional details about its proposal compared to previous negotiations four years ago, including a 15% guaranteed combined wage increase and lump sum payments.

“This will be an important deal for our workers, allowing Ford to continue its unique position as the most American automaker — and giving us the flexibility we need within our manufacturing footprint to respond to customer demand as the industry transforms.” Farley said in Statement issued publicly. “This offering will also allow Ford to compete, invest in new products, grow, and share that future success with our employees through profit sharing.”

Ford noted that its proposal includes a six-year growth period to reach the highest wages compared to eight years; “Cost of Living” bonuses of $12,000 over the life of the deal; $5,500 validation bonus; 25% increase in basic pay for temporary workers; There are other improvements to the last contract, but they are not in line with the union’s previous demands.

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The union’s demands included increasing wages by 46%, restoring traditional pensions, increasing the cost of living, reducing the work week to 32 hours from 40, and increasing retirees’ benefits.

Here are additional details released by Ford regarding its latest proposal:

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