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

UAW President Sean Fine addresses union members during the “Solidarity Sunday” rally on August 20, 2023 in Warren, Michigan.

Michael Wayland/CNBC

DETROIT — The United Auto Workers have filed unfair labor practices charges against automakers General Motors and Stillants 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 Company, which Fain said the company responded to the UAW’s demands with a counterproposal.

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

However, Fine was highly critical of Ford’s proposal, which he said included a 9% wage increase over the four years of the deal. One-time lump sum bonuses; and the unlimited use of lower-paid temporary workers who do not enjoy the same benefits. Fine said the company also rejected “all” union proposals related to job security and “quality of life proposals” such as extra paid vacation time and a shorter work week.

“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 to Ford 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 transaction for our workers, and it will allow us to continue Ford’s unique position as the most American automaker — and give us the flexibility we need within our manufacturing footprint to respond to customer demand as the industry transforms.” Farley said Statement made public. “This offering will also allow Ford to compete, invest in new products and grow, and share this future success with our employees through profit sharing.”

Ford indicated that her proposal includes a six-year growth period to reach higher wages, compared to eight years; $12,000 in Cost of Living bonuses over the life of the deal; endorsement rewards of $5,500; A 25% increase in base pay for temporary workers and other improvements compared to the last decade but not in line with the union’s previous demands.

GM did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The union and the NLRB did not immediately respond to additional details about the recordings.

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 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 for a new deal. We will not allow Mr. Fine’s tactics to distract us from this important work of securing the future of our employees.”

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