(The Hill) — The United Auto Workers (UAW) union is on strike after demands for better wages, benefits and job protections for its members were not met by last Friday’s deadline.
UAW began its strike against the three automakers last Friday and will continue striking if progress is not made by Friday, Sept. 22, UAW president Shawn Fain said.
According to a recent analysis, profits at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis collectively increased about 92 percent in the last decade. The union has justified its wage demands by pointing to recent profit growth and to the increased compensation of the three respective CEOs.
Here’s how much each Big Three CEO made last year:
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares on Feb. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)
In 2022, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares is reported to have made $15.71 million (14.9 million euros) and $25 million (23.46 million euros), according to Reuters and ABC News, respectively.
In Feb. 2022, Reuters reported that Traveres’ pay fell 14 percent from the previous year. In 2021, he received a 2 million euro retention bonus, which he did not receive last year. ABC reported the CEO’s salary was a 77 percent increase over the former CEO Mike Manley’s 2019 pay of 13.28 million euros.
Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO, speaks during a presentation Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, file)
Company proxy statements report Ford CEO Jim Farley received nearly $21 million in total compensation in 2022. Farley’s compensation was up 21 percent from the $17.4 million earned by former CEO Jim Hackett in 2019. Included in Farley’s total compensation was $15 million in stock grants, according to the Associated Press.
Mary Barra. (Getty Images)
In a Friday interview, CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich asked General Motors CEO Mary Barra if her nearly $30 million paycheck is fair to her employees. Her pay has increased 34 percent since 2019, ABC reported. Included in Barra’s compensation package was $14 million in stock grants.
Barra sought to defend her compensation package, noting that “92 percent of it is based on performance of the company.”
What companies are offering strikers
In a counteroffer, GM has offered workers in the union a 20 percent pay increase. Barra said the offer, which is in addition to company profit sharing and health care benefits, is “very competitive.”
“We have profit sharing so when the company does well, everyone does well and for the last several years that’s resulted in record profit sharing for our represented employees,” Barra told CNN. “And I think you have to look at the whole compensation package, not only [the] 20 percent increase in gross wage, but also the profit sharing aspect of it, world-class health care, and there’s several other features.”
Ford hasn’t publicly released its latest offer, but Farley called it “our most generous offer in 80 years of the UAW and Ford,” according to Fox 2 Detroit. He added that it also includes “pay increases, elimination of tiers, inflation protection, five weeks of vacation, 17 paid holidays, bigger contributions for retirement.”
The most recent offer from Stellantis offers workers a 21 percent increase for hourly employees, along with an immediate 10 percent raise, and profit sharing of $44,700, among other things, according to Fox.
Impact of electric vehicles
The conversation around the auto industry’s transition to electric vehicles has played a big role in negotiations. Fain is asking for better protections for workers amid the transition.
The union has earned the backing of the Biden administration, which strongly supports the auto industry’s development of electric vehicles. Last week the president called on the companies to increase their compensation packages.