In a significant development in the ongoing contract negotiations between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and major automakers, Stellantis and General Motors (GM) are facing allegations of unfair labor practices. UAW Chairman Shawn Fain announced the filing of these allegations against both companies at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), citing a lack of good-faith negotiations and untimely responses.
The union, which represents approximately 150,000 members in the automotive industry, did not file a similar complaint against Ford. Fain’s decision came after Ford responded to the UAW’s requests with a counter-proposal, although he heavily criticized the nature of Ford’s response.
“The voluntary refusal of GM and Stellantis to bargain in good faith is not only offensive and counterproductive, it is also illegal,” Fain stated during a live broadcast on Facebook. “That’s why today our union filed allegations of unfair labor practices, or ULP, against both GM and Stellantis at the National Council for Labor Relations.”
In response to these allegations, Stellantis spokesperson Jodi Tinson expressed surprise and disappointment, emphasizing the company’s commitment to good-faith bargaining. Tinson stated, “We have not received the filing but are shocked by Mr. Fain’s claims that we have not bargained in good faith. This is a claim with no basis in fact, and we are disappointed to learn that Mr. Fain is more focused on filing frivolous legal charges than on actual bargaining.”
Gerald Johnson, GM Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing, also refuted the charges, describing them as having “no merit” and “an insult to the bargaining committees.” He highlighted GM’s dedication to direct negotiations with the UAW and its focus on addressing the numerous demands put forth by the union.
Despite the legal challenges and contentious negotiations, Fain referenced a recent Gallup poll showing that 67% of Americans approve of labor unions, with three out of four supporting the UAW’s 150,000 members in their demands concerning Detroit carmakers.
The UAW initiated negotiations with the Detroit carmakers in mid-July but decided not to name a target company to secure a contract and use it as a pattern for the other two automakers. However, the situation escalated when union members voted to authorize a strike if a tentative contract agreement cannot be reached before the current contract expires.
“We’re not picking a target company. We expect all three to bargain with us and all three to be done by September 14th. We want contracts by September 14th by all three,” Fain emphasized.
Source: The Detroit News