Striking United Auto Workers, members of 2250 of the General Motors Wentzville Assembly Plant, hold up signs in solidarity. On Tuesday, GM announced it would lay off 163 more workers, as the auto maker blamed the strike for a total of 2,100 layoffs. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Nearly three weeks into the United Auto Workers strike, Ford Motor Company revealed Tuesday that it has strengthened its seventh offer to the union, as General Motors announced more layoffs.
Ford said it made its "strongest" offer Monday "in an effort to reach a tentative agreement" on a new contract.
"We've put an offer on the table that will be costly for the company, especially given our large American footprint and UAW workforce, but one that we believe still allows Ford to invest in the future," Ford chief executive officer Jim Farley said in a statement Tuesday.
Ford's latest offer includes profit-sharing and an increase in starting pay to $21 per hour for temporary employees, as well as a ratification bonus. It also eliminates wage tiers, restores cost-of-living allowances, increases 401k contributions, adds income protections and grants more time off with up to five weeks of vacation.
"There's no doubt our UAW workforce put us on their shoulders during the pandemic, and these same workers and their families were hit hard by inflation," Farley said. "We want to make sure our workers come out of these negotiations with two things -- a record contract and a strong future."
As the strike entered its 19th day Tuesday, General Motors also made an announcement that the company planned to lay off 163 more workers due to the walkout.
The GM workers affected by the layoffs are from Toledo Propulsion Systems, which manufactures transmissions for the company's midsize pickups and cargo vans at the Wentzville Assembly Center in Missouri, as well as GM's Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse at Lansing Delta Township Assembly in Michigan.
The UAW started its strike at Wentzville on Sept. 14, before expanding to Lansing Delta Township last Friday.
In a statement Tuesday, GM blamed the strike for a total of 2,100 layoffs.
"It is unfortunate the UAW's decision to call a strike at GM Lansing Delta Township Assembly continues to have negative ripple effects," GM said. "The impacted team members are not expected to return until the strike has been resolved. Since we are working under an expired labor agreement, there are no provisions for company-provided sub-pay in this circumstance."
While the UAW has not responded to Ford's new offer or GM's layoffs, unemployed workers are expected to receive $500 a week in strike pay based on UAW President Shawn Fain's previous statements.
On Friday, the UAW expanded its ongoing strikes against Ford and General Motors, citing a lack of progress in negotiations. An additional combined 7,000 workers at Ford's Chicago Assembly and GM's Lansing Michigan Delta Township plant walked off the job.
On Monday, auto workers reached a tentative agreement to avoid a strike with Mack Trucks, which is part of the Swedish Volvo Group.
"Nearly 4,000 UAW members at Mack Truck in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Florida (UAW Region 8 & Region 9) have a tentative agreement," the UAW posted on social media.