GM ups offer to include 20% raises; UAW strike chances ‘very high’

GM also on Thursday said it proposed a “retirement security” contribution of $500 to retirees and $1,000 to an active employee defined-benefit program.

The Ford sources said the company’s latest offer would raise total worker compensation including health care and other benefits to $132,000 per year, from the roughly $112,000 per year it is today.

They said if the UAW got everything it asked for in its initial demands to the automakers last month, total compensation per employee would rise to $286,800 per year. If those economics were applied to the past four years, Ford would have lost more than $14 billion.

Bankruptcy choice

Ford CEO Jim Farley said Thursday the UAW’s proposal to hike wages by 40 percent, cut workweeks and add new pension benefits could bankrupt the company.

“You want us to choose bankruptcy over supporting our workers,” Farley, in a CNBC interview, said of the UAW proposal. He said there are no current talks, and the automaker has received no counteroffer. “Nothing is going on.”

Farley said if the UAW proposal had been in effect since 2019, instead of making about $30 billion in profits over four years, the company would have lost about $15 billion “and gone bankrupt by now.”

GM’s latest offer now includes two weeks of paid parental leave and up to five weeks of paid vacation, according to Barra’s letter. That matches Ford’s proposal.

“We’ve worked days, nights, and weekends since receiving the UAW’s demands,” Barra wrote. “We have been bargaining in good faith to deliver a better package with historic wage increases and manufacturing commitments, recognizing your contributions to our company — past, present, and future. It addresses what you’ve told us is most important to you, in spite of the heated rhetoric from UAW leadership.”

Barra referenced the UAW’s 40-day strike against GM in 2019, saying “nobody won” and that the automaker wants to reach a deal without another walkout.

“That is what is on the table for you: a historic proposal that rewards our team members, sets us up for the future, and continues our profit-sharing program so we all benefit from the company’s success,” Barra wrote. “Let’s make new history, not repeat the past.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

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