Pensions, 32-hour work week, retiree benefits part of UAW demands in contract talks

UAW president Shawn Fain revealed the list of demands during a livestream this week.

A photo of a UAW sign.

The United Auto Workers released their demands ahead of contract negotiations with Detroit’s three major automakers, and union members are ready to get their share of the profits.

New UAW president Shawn Fain laid out what the workers want in a new contract during a livestream earlier this week. Fain has struck a more contentious tone since taking over last March — and those recent earnings above expectation might help the union more than automakers heading into bargaining sessions.

Read: GM president talks strong Q2 as contract negotiations with UAW ongoing

“Our message going into bargaining is clear record profits mean record contracts,” Fain stated in the video. “Our members are working 60-70, even 80 hours a week just to make ends meet. That’s not a living — that’s barely surviving and it needs to stop.”

Among the demands, UAW members want a return of pensions and annual cost of living increases, though full-time workers do get hefty revenue sharing checks.

Fain is also proposing a 32-hour work week so members can spend more time with their families.

The current contract between the UAW and Detroit’s “Big 3” expires Sept. 14 at 11:59 p.m.

Ed. note: Some employees of WDET are members of UAW Local 1979 — a different bargaining group that’s unaffected by these negotiations.

Trusted, accurate, up-to-date.

WDET strives to make our journalism accessible to everyone. As a public media institution, we maintain our journalistic integrity through independent support from readers like you. If you value WDET as your source of news, music and conversation, please make a gift today.

Donate today »


  • Russ McNamara
    Russ McNamara is the host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news to the station’s loyal listeners. He's been an avid listener of WDET since he moved to metro Detroit in 2002.