Detroit’s automakers and the United Auto Workers are currently in collective bargaining talks. Discussions are ongoing with General Motors — the first manufacturer selected by the union to enter labor negotiations.
Recently elected UAW president Shawn Fain says he’s focused on job security and better benefits. He’s mentioned pushing for the return of cost-of-living adjustments to help protect union members from inflation.
Listen: Analyzing contract talks between the UAW and Detroit automakers
Paul Eisenstein, publisher of automotive website TheDetroitBureau.com, says Fain will also be focused on making sure new production facilities are unionized as they open.
“That is not for certain right now as several of the manufacturers are launching entirely new battery plants and battery electric assembly lines,” says Eisenstein.
At the other end of the bargaining table, car companies are focused on reducing costs — with electric vehicles taking fewer workers to assemble.
“Because EVs are simpler, they’re going to need less labor,” states Eisenstein. “So you’re going to see the manufacturers push to get the unions to accept the idea that they’re going to need less workers in the future.”
The current contracts between the UAW and Detroit’s Big Three expire Sept. 14.