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UAW plans to make contract counteroffer to Ford – source

The Ford name plate is seen on the interior of the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck during a press event in New York

By David Shepardson

(Reuters) – The United Auto Workers union on Wednesday plans to make a labor contract counterproposal on economic issues to Ford Motor, a source told Reuters.

Ford said last week it had offered a 9% wage increase through 2027, much less than the 46% wage hike being sought by the union. The UAW expects to receive a proposal from General Motors on Thursday, added the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. GM confirmed it will meet with the UAW Thursday but declined to provide any details.

The current four-year labor agreements covering 146,000 workers at the Detroit Three automakers expire on Sept. 14.

GM, Ford and Stellantis did not immediately comment.

Last week, the UAW filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against GM and Chrysler-parent Stellantis, saying they have refused to bargain in good faith. The source said as of Wednesday Stellantis has not yet made a counter proposal.

The union’s demands include a 20% immediate wage increase, defined-benefit pensions for all workers, 32-hour work weeks and additional cost of living hikes.

Earlier, the UAW said about 97% of members voted in favor of authorizing a strike if agreement is not reached.

The UAW also wants all temporary workers at U.S. automakers to be made permanent, enhanced profit sharing and the restoration of retiree health-care benefits and cost-of-living adjustments.

The UAW said Ford wants no cap on temporary workers and that those workers would not participate in profit sharing, would earn less than 60% of the top wage rate for permanent workers and receive inferior health-care benefits.

Ford said it would boost starting pay for temporary workers to $20 an hour, up 20%, and offer permanent employees $12,000 in cost-of-living adjustments over the contract.

The UAW said Ford’s profit-sharing formula change would have cut payouts by 21% over the last two years, while Ford said it was offering a $5,500 signing bonus upon the contract’s ratification for permanent and temporary workers.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Jonathan Oatis)