Automaker Stellantis has made a counteroffer to the United Auto Workers that includes wage increases for each year of a new four-year contract totaling 14.5%.
The pay increases, which would apply to most employees, do not include one-time payments, Mark Stewart, Stellantis North America’s chief operating officer, said in a letter to employees.
The proposal from Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler, also includes a one-time inflation protection payment of $6,000 in the first year of the contract and $4,500 in inflation protection payments over the last three years of the contract.
Additionally, the counteroffer includes increasing hourly wages from $15.78 to $20 for temporary employees and accelerating the progression timeline from eight to six years for employees who progress through the pay scale from starting wages.
Stellantis’ proposal, which came in a 2021 merger of Fiat Chrysler and France’s PSA Peugeot, is closer to the union’s demands of an overall increase of 46% over four years, but both sides are still always far apart. About 146,000 UAW members at the three Detroit automakers could go on strike Thursday at 11:59 p.m. when their contracts expire.
“We remain committed to negotiating in good faith and reaching a fair agreement within the deadline. With this fair offer, we seek a timely resolution to our discussions,” said Stewart.
In a statement Friday, the union called the counteroffers from Stellantis, General Motors and Ford “disappointing” and said President Shawn Fain will discuss them in an online chat with members Friday afternoon.
On Wednesday, Fain warned that the union plans to go on strike against any Detroit automaker that has not reached a new agreement by the time its contracts expire.
A strike against all three major automakers could damage not only the industry as a whole, but also the Midwest and even the national economy, depending on how long it lasts. The automotive industry accounts for about 3% of the country’s economic output. A prolonged strike could eventually also lead to higher car prices.
Ford’s counterproposal offered 9% raises and lump sums over four years, while GM’s counterproposal offered 10% plus lump sums.