The United Auto Workers union and three Detroit automakers resumed negotiations over a new labor contract Saturday as a targeted strike entered its second day.

The union is striking against all three manufacturers – General Motors, Ford and Stellantis – but for now has limited the walkouts to one plant at each of those companies: a Ford plant in Michigan, a GM plant in Missouri and a Stellantis plant in Ohio.

“We had reasonably productive discussions with Ford today,” the union said in a statement. The discussions with GM and Stellantis were not mentioned.

On Friday, Ford said it had told 600 workers not involved in the strike not to report to work, and GM said the walkout could result in about 2,000 workers being laid off at a plant in Kansas that Sources parts from the Missouri factory.

In a statement Saturday, UAW President Shawn Fain said the automakers’ hints of possible layoffs were aimed at “pushing our membership to settle for less” than the union had demanded.

“Given their record profits, they don’t have to lay off a single employee,” he said.

The union is demanding a significant wage increase, an expansion of pension plans to all workers, company-paid health care for retirees and shorter work weeks. It also seeks an end to the “tiered” pay system, in which new hires start at just over half of the union’s standard wage and have to work for eight years before reaching the highest pay level.

In its initial list of demands, the UAW called for a 40 percent pay increase, saying it would be in line with the average raise given to the CEOs of the three companies over the past four years.

On Saturday, Stellantis – the parent company of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram – said its latest offer includes an immediate 10 percent increase and additional increases that would increase wages by a total of 21 percent over the life of the new contract Typically four years.

The company also said it had offered to allow wage adjustments due to inflation. Under the proposal, new hires would rise to the top wage, which is currently $32 an hour, within four years instead of eight. Temporary workers now making $16.67 an hour would rise to about $21 an hour, Stellantis said.

“It’s a very fair, extremely competitive offer,” Mark Stewart, chief operating officer of Stellantis’ North American division, said in a conference call.

“We clearly understand that we are in an inflationary environment,” Mr. Stewart said. “We understand that we need to make changes to reflect what has happened since the last contract.” At the same time, he continued, the company needs to ensure it can compete with rivals that operate non-union plants, including Tesla and foreign automakers like Toyota, Honda and Volkswagen.

“We need to have a viable industry,” Mr Stewart said. “At the end of the day, we have to be competitive.”

GM and Ford have made similar offers on wages and a four-year reduction in the top wage climb, but all three companies have rejected many of the union’s other demands related to pensions, health care and job security.

Mr. Stewart also said Stellantis had made a proposal to provide “job security” to about 1,350 people who lost their jobs earlier this year when Stellantis shut down a plant in Belvidere, Ill. The production of new vehicles at the Belvidere plant, a move that which would signal that a full reopening of the plant is planned.

However, this offer only remained on the table until the strike began.

Later on Saturday, Mr Fain released a statement: “Belvidere Assembly was a profitable factory, supporting around 5,000 workers and their families just a few years ago. Now that number is zero and Stellantis wants to keep playing.” He added: “Our stance is: save Belvidere.”

Reopening this plant is one of Mr. Fain’s most important goals. He was elected to office earlier this year promising to take a tougher and more confrontational approach than his predecessors.

Four years ago, the UAW went on strike against GM for 40 days, hoping to get the company to reopen a plant in Lordstown, Ohio, that GM had filed for closure. In the end, the union agreed to an agreement that allowed the company to close the factory.

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