DETROIT, Mich. (WTVO) — The United Auto Workers union president Shawn Fain announced Friday that General Motors has agreed to put electric battery plants within the national labor contract, averting an expansion of its strike against major automakers.
Fain said Ford and Stellantis previously agreed to meet at the bargaining table, and are now under pressure to follow suit.
“We can confirm that we provided a counter offer to the UAW’s most recent proposal — our sixth since the start of negotiations. We believe we have a compelling offer that would reward our team members and allow GM to succeed and thrive into the future. We continue to stand ready and willing to negotiate in good faith 24/7 to reach an agreement,” General Motors said on Thursday.
The UAW has said the auto industry’s transition to electric vehicles is complicating union talks, since the vehicles use fewer parts and require less labor.
Fain had declared a strike against the Detroit Three automakers’ assembly plants starting on September 14th after the current contract expired. The strike has since expanded to more facilities across the U.S.
GM said the strike had cost it about $200 million in the third quarter. It also said it had laid off 164 workers at two stamping plants that produce parts, and another 1,800 at its Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas City, Kansas, its Toledo, Ohio engine plant, and its Lockport, New York, components factory.
Ford has said it has laid off around 1,300 employees due to the strike.
Stellantis did not announce any layoffs.
The UAW is paying $500 a week in strike benefits to more than 25,000 members who are now on strike, costing it $14.3 million a week of its $825 million strike fund, according to CNN.