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Stellantis ups wage increase offer to 21% as UAW strike continues

Stellantis, one of the Detroit Three carmakers, upped its offer to include a 21% wage increase for hourly workers over the course of the contract as a historic United Auto Workers strike continued Saturday. File Photo by James Atoa/UPI
Stellantis, one of the Detroit Three carmakers, upped its offer to include a 21% wage increase for hourly workers over the course of the contract as a historic United Auto Workers strike continued Saturday. File Photo by James Atoa/UPI

Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Stellantis, one of the Detroit Three carmakers, upped its offer to include a 21% wage increase for hourly workers over the course of the contract as a historic United Auto Workers strike continued Saturday.

The carmaker -- which owns Jeep, Ram, Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat -- said in a news release that wages would increase by 10% immediately if the contract were to be ratified. It is the fourth proposal put on the table by the carmaker.

Stellantis also made several other moves toward demands made by the powerful union, including ending the wage tier in the company's Mopar parts division and cutting the hourly wage progression timeline down to four years from eight years.

"This would bring all current full-time hourly workers to the top rate during this next agreement," Stellantis said.

The company also referred to "more than $1 billion in retirement security improvements" and a new offer of an "inflation protection measure" though details on that measure were not provided.

Striking United Auto Workers are seeking a 40% pay raise, citing automaker CEOs' 40% raise over the last four years. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Striking United Auto Workers are seeking a 40% pay raise, citing automaker CEOs' 40% raise over the last four years. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

"When we work together, we win together. And we look forward to getting everyone back to work as soon as possible," Stellantis said.

Thousands of auto workers at three U.S. assembly plants went on strike at midnight Thursday when UAW and the Big Three automakers -- Stellantis, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors -- failed to come to an agreement on a new contract.

Ford and GM have resumed negotiations after no talks occurred between the union and the automakers on Friday as the strike began.

It marked the first time in the union's 90-year history that its members commenced a strike against all three of the country's largest carmakers at once.

It is also the first time that the union, under the new leadership of president Shawn Fain, has conducted a rolling strike strategy -- targeting just some facilities and pledging to add more if negotiations fail to progress.

"Shawn Fain and the autoworkers are recapturing and reactivating the excitement and support that the UAW once had when it was the vanguard in America," historian Nelson Lichtenstein told Jacobin.

President Joe Biden has expressed support for the union, stating Friday he understood the frustration of workers helping the companies make record profits.

"No one wants a strike. But I respect workers' rights to use their options under the collective bargaining system. And I understand the workers' frustration," Biden said.

The president said the automakers have made some significant offers, but he believes they should go further to ensure their record corporate profits mean record contracts for the UAW.

The union is seeking a 40% pay raise over the four-year contract, citing automaker CEO's 40% raise over the last four years.

Ford CEO Jim Farley, who made $21 million in compensation in 2022, told CNBC in an interview Friday that the UAW demands would cause the company to choose between bankruptcy and supporting workers.