UAW president says union has filed unfair labor practice charges against GM, Stellantis over contract talks

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UAW President Shawn Fain addresses union members during a Solidarity Sunday rally in Warren, Michigan, Aug. 20, 2023

Michael Wayland / CNBC

DETROIT — United Auto Workers has filed unfair labor practice charges against automakers General Motors and Stellantis to the National Labor Relations Board for not bargaining with the union in good faith or a timely manner, UAW President Shawn Fain said Thursday night.

The Thursday filings followed the companies not responding to the union’s demands in a timely matter, Fain said. The union did not file a complaint against Ford Motor, as Fain said the company responded to the UAW’s demands with a counterproposal he heavily criticized.

“GM and Stellantis’ willful refusal to bargain in good faith is not only insulting and counterproductive, it’s also illegal,” Fain said during a Facebook Live. Our union has filed unfair labor practices charges (ULPs) against both GM Stellantis and the National Labor Relations Board. Stellantis has said that it does not have the NLRB complaint yet, but is stunned by Mr. Fain’s claim that we did not bargain in good faith. “

This claim is without basis and we are surprised to hear that Mr. Fain’s focus is on filing frivolous lawsuits rather than actual bargaining, the company stated in an email statement. “We will vigorously fight this charge at the appropriate time, but for now, we are focused on continuing in good faith to negotiate a new contract. We will not let Mr. Fain’s tactics distract us from the important work we are doing to ensure our employees’ future. Stellantis’ statement about the NLRB charges was echoed by “

GM”: “We were surprised and strongly deny the NLRB complaint filed by the International UAW. It is an insult and we believe that it is without merit. We have been hyper-focused on negotiating directly and in good faith with the UAW and are making progress,” said Gerald Johnson, GM executive vice president of global manufacturing.

The NLRB also did not immediately respond regarding additional details of the filings.

Regarding Ford’s recent proposal, Fain called it “concessionary.” Fain said that the company rejected “all” of the union’s job security proposals and “quality of life proposals,” such as additional paid holidays and a shorter work week. The company also rejected “all of” the union’s job security proposals and “quality of life proposals” such as additional paid holidays and a shorter work week, Fain said.

“Ford’s wage proposals not only failed to meet our needs, it insults our very worth,” Fain said.

In response to the comments, Ford released a lengthy statement by CEO Jim Farley and additional details of its proposal compared with the prior negotiations four years ago, including 15% guaranteed combined wage increases and lump sum payments.

“This would be an important deal for our workers, and it would allow for the continuation of 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 in the publicly released statement. Ford’s offer will also enable them to grow, invest in new products and share future success with their employees. “

Ford’s proposal included a six-year growth period for top wages, as opposed to eight; $12,000 in “cost-of living” bonuses throughout the duration of the agreement; $5,500 in ratification bonuses; and a 25% increase in the base wage for temporary workers. However, this was not in line with previous union demands.