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General Motors presents generous wage offer to stop UAW strike

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General Motors has tried to prevent a potential strike by the United Auto Workers by presenting a new offer.

It includes substantial wage increases, more vacation days, and improved retiree benefits. 

The proposal, characterized by GM CEO Mary Barra as "compelling and unprecedented," addresses many union demands.

Read More: UAW Gears Up For Targeted Strikes Against Detroit Automakers

But it falls short on certain key points, such as the UAW's request for a 40 percent pay hike over the contract's four years.

GM announced the details of its offer just hours before the UAW's strike deadline.

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It could trigger targeted strikes against GM, Ford Motor, and Stellantis if 11:59 pm ET reaches no agreement. 

Barra said: “We’re at a crossroads on our path to building a company that can sustain all of us for decades to come.

Read More: UAW Plans Targeted Strikes If Labor Talks With Automakers Fail

“Today, we put a compelling and unprecedented economic package on the table that reflects the significance of this critical moment.”

The automakers have cautioned against the potential consequences of meeting the UAW's terms. 

Sources said if the current demands had been in effect, Ford would have incurred a $14.4 billion loss over the past four years instead of recording nearly $30 billion in profits. 

UAW President Shawn Fain remains committed to achieving these terms.

Read More: UAW Moves On Wage Demands In Ongoing Talks With Automakers

Key elements of GM's offer include:

  • Wages: A 20 percent increase over the four-year contract, with a 10 percent raise in the first year. It’s up from GM's previous offer of 18 percent. The UAW has sought 40 percent increases over the contract's duration, citing CEO pay increases at Detroit automakers.
  • Faster Path to Top Pay: Newly hired workers would reach top-level wages in four years instead of the current eight. The UAW has demanded an end to the tiered wage system.
  • Inflation Protection: GM's offer includes cost-of-living protection for maximum wage earners to ensure wages keep up with inflation. The union has called for a return to a more generous past system.
  • Job Security: GM commits not to close any US manufacturing or warehousing facilities during the contract's term.
  • Work-Life Balance: The offer includes recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday, up to five weeks of vacation, and two weeks of parental leave, matching Ford's proposal.

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The negotiations are drawing attention in Washington, with President Joe Biden engaging with UAW chief Fain and automaker leaders as the standoff continues. 

Key union demands encompass hourly pay increases, a reduced 32-hour workweek, traditional pensions, and eliminating compensation tiers.

They are seeking the restoration of cost-of-living adjustments, among other items. 

Ford's recent proposal includes a 20 percent wage increase, ratification bonuses, and other benefits.

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