BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — Negotiations between the United Auto Workers union and America’s Big Three automakers are coming down to the wire, with the current agreement ending at midnight Thursday.

The union has asked for 46% raises in general pay over four years — an increase that would elevate a top-scale assembly plant worker from $32 an hour now to about $47. In addition, the UAW has demanded an end to varying tiers of wages for factory jobs; a 32-hour week with 40 hours of pay; the restoration of traditional defined-benefit pensions for new hires who now receive only 401(k)-style retirement plans; and a return of cost-of-living pay raises, among other benefits.

Perhaps most important to the union is that it be allowed to represent workers at 10 electric vehicle battery factories, most of which are being built by joint ventures between automakers and South Korean battery makers. The union wants those plants to receive top UAW wages. In part, that is because workers who now make components for internal combustion engines will need a place to work as the auto industry increasingly transitions to EVs.

The UAW released a video on Friday focused on the idled Stellantis factory in Belvidere.

Titled “Justice for Belvidere,” the video highlights former union workers at the plant, including one who said her family moved to the Stateline-area to work at the then-Chrysler assembly plant decades ago.

In February 2023, Stellantis idled the Belvidere factory, laying off 1,300 workers.

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Rich Boyer, vice president and head of the UAW’s Stellantis department, said Friday that’s optimistic that he can hammer out an agreement with the automaker to place a new product in Belvidere.

“It’s coming soon,” he said of a deal. “The minute I lock that in, which I think will know soon, I’ll scream from the top of the heavens.”

Stellantis said talks with the UAW are progressing and that the union submitted a counteroffer to its economic proposal on Sunday.

Both sides have reportedly reached agreements in areas such as health and safety.

“There was good energy among both teams and great momentum to reach an agreement as we head into the final days before the contract expires Thursday night,” Tobin Williams, head of human resources for North America, wrote in an email to employees. “We are on a good path and remain committed to reaching a tentative agreement.”

UAW President Shawn Fain on Friday called counter offers from Stellantis, General Motors and Ford inadequate. He warned of strikes against any company without a tentative contract agreement when the contracts expire.

On Monday, Fain said in a statement that all three companies waited until the last minute to make economic offers. “When the CEOs are ready to make a serious offer, we’ll be there, day or night,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.