Flint GM executive speaks on current offers to UAW
FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) – It is the 18th day since the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against the Big Three automakers began, and the executive director at a GM plant said the company has put forth a record offer.
The UAW is seeking big raises and better benefits, pointing to CEO pay raises and big profits that Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis have recently raked in.
Currently, 25,000 members are on the picket line across the country after UAW President Shawn Fain expanded the strike, calling workers at a GM assembly plant near Lansing and in Chicago to the picket line.
On Monday, Oct. 2, Chad Pung, the plant executive director at GM’s Flint Truck Assembly spoke about what he said is a record offer to the UAW.
Pung said the proposal offers an immediate wage increase for union employees there and, depending on classification and seniority, workers could max out at $42,000, up to $82,000 per year, with skill trade union workers making $93,000 to $96,000 per year.
“The offer that we have on the table right now is 20 percent, and then it also protects against inflation. It offers world-class healthcare benefits, and then we’ve got good job security included, and also retirement benefits. So, it’s a very compelling offer,” Pung said.
Pung said this offer is “historic” in regard to what it offers employees.
“Very importantly, it focuses on what they told us matters to them most, which are increases in wage and job security going forward,” Pung said.
However, it is not compelling enough to end UAW’s strike against GM.
As TV5 has reported, the UAW is looking for a 36 percent raise over four years.
As negotiations wear on, Pung spoke about what the mood is like inside the facility.
“Well, I think what’s important to us is, we’re one team, and what we talk about to the team is that we want to remain one team and we’ve got to stay focused on the business at hand, which is producing great, full-sized pickups for our customers, and we’ll let the process play out at the table,” Pung said.
While Pung would not comment on if he thought GM’s offer would be enough to end the strike, he did say a work stoppage isn’t good.
“A strike doesn’t benefit anybody. We know that from history, and it unfortunately can have a negative impact not only on our employees, but on their families and the communities they live and work, and the supply base,” Pung said. “And we know for every job we employ here inside the company, we support another six jobs outside, so it certainly has a pretty far-reaching effect.”
He is adamant that GM will continue to negotiate with the UAW in good faith.
“We’re basically just staying very focused on the bargaining process, and we’re committed to finding a way to get an agreement that’s good both for our people and for our long-term future,” he said.
When asked if he was worried about the Flint plant being one of the next UAW strike targets, Pung said he would worry about controlling what he can control.
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