July 14, 2024

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Fine says talks are continuing with “slow” progress.

Fine says talks are continuing with “slow” progress.

Talks between the Detroit Three automakers and the United Auto Workers continue Sunday with 12,700 workers at three plants still walking picket lines.

UAW President Shawn Fain appeared on MSNBC Sunday Morning and CBS’ “Face the Nation” After NBC reported President Joe Biden will send a team to Detroit early this week to help resolve the strike.

“The good thing I see in all of this is that our members are manning the picket lines with our allies, and this really to me is not about the president or the former president…it’s about working-class people standing up,” Fine said on MSNBC.

He added that “progress is slow” in the talks, but the union, General Motors Corp, Ford Motor Co and Stellantis NV are meeting on Sunday.

“I don’t really want to say we’re closer,” he said.

The union is seeking a significant wage increase, an end to the tiered pay system and cost-of-living adjustments, among other demands. Specifically, the UAW initially proposed pay increases of 46% over the life of the contract (40% when not compounded). A later offering reduced that to 36% uncombined.

On “Face the Nation,” Fine said Stellantis’ recent offer of a 21% pay increase “is definitely a no-no and we’ve made that very clear to companies.”

more: Where the UAW and the Detroit Three automakers stand on key issues

Just before 11:59 PM on Thursday, September 14, the Detroit Three-UAW contracts expired, Fine called a targeted strike at three plants: the Wentzville General Motors Association in Missouri, the Toledo Stellantis Association in Ohio and Ford’s Michigan Association in Wayne. Finn could invite more workers to come out at different plants depending on how the talks go. This is the first time in its history that the UAW has called a strike against all three automakers simultaneously.

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The UAW said Saturday it had held “reasonably productive” talks with Ford while Stellantis accused the union of misrepresenting its offers. The maker of Ram and Jeep trucks said it offered the UAW a composite wage increase of about 21% and a path to “dissolve” the Belvedere Assembly Plant, a former Jeep Cherokee plant in north-central Illinois that was idled at the end of February, but that proposal was only on the table. Until the contract expires at midnight on Thursday.

Fine described the move as evidence that the company views workers as a “bargaining chip.”

As a result of the strike in the Michigan Assembly’s final assembly and paint areas, Ford said Friday it had to temporarily lay off 600 workers in other parts of the plant.

On the same day, GM warned that it would likely have to halt production at Fairfax Assembly in Kansas as a result of the Wentzville shutdown because the Missouri plant supplies Fairfax with parts.

Concerns in Washington

Biden on Friday urged the three Detroit companies to “go further” in their offers to the union, and was expected to send acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and senior adviser Gene Sperling to Detroit to “offer their full support” to both the union and the automakers in reaching a settlement. an agreement. Reach an agreement.

During Fine’s media interviews on Sunday, he was pressed about Biden’s involvement and the union’s decision to back away from endorsing the president he claims is the most pro-union president in the country’s history.

“Our support will be deserved,” Fine said on “Face the Nation.” “We expect actions, not words.”

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Michigan Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell of Ann Arbor also appeared on “Face the Nation,” saying that “almost all auto plant workers are benefiting from the direction these negotiations are headed.”

Dingell added that she does not believe that the president should intervene or sit at the negotiating table with the parties.

“All of us, policymakers and other stakeholders, need to understand what these issues are, and what we can do to support those discussions at the table,” she said. “Then (do) what we need to do to get out of this to help create a strong, viable, competitive industry.”

Dingell, who has also been pressed by the union’s lack of endorsement of Biden ahead of the 2024 election, said she wants to keep presidential politics and negotiations with the union and automakers “completely separate.”

“I’m really worried about what’s happening at the table,” she said. “It will determine the future of the auto industry in Michigan. I want to keep presidential politics out of this and do what’s right from a political perspective. Then we can talk about the presidential election.”

Although the union did not endorse Biden, Fine said in a May letter to employees that another term for former President Donald Trump “would be a disaster.”

Trump, the likely 2024 Republican presidential nominee, said Sunday on ABC’s “Meet the Press” that he doesn’t know Fine but “is not doing a good job representing his union, because he won’t have a union in three years.” “From now on, those jobs will disappear, because all those electric cars will be made in China.”

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maternal uncle@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @bykaleaahall

Writer Riley Begin contributed.