The UAW now is seeking raises totaling at least 25 percent from the Detroit 3, a significant reduction from its original demand of 40 percent, as the two sides close in on resolving a major sticking point to reaching deals to end the union's 6-week-old strike, according to people familiar with the talks.
The new figure, relayed to some bargaining teams in recent days, would result in top hourly wages of about $41.20 in 2027. Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Stellantis each have proposed 23 percent raises, which would put top earners at about $40.39.
The difference between the union's demand and what the companies have offered is roughly $3,100 per worker over the entirety of the contract, although one source cautioned that the target could shift at any or all of the companies as talks continue.
The UAW since early August has mostly held firm to its initial demand of 40 percent wage gains, although the union budged slightly last month, telling the companies it was open to raises of 36 percent.
The 25 percent request still would fit UAW President Shawn Fain's stated goal of "substantial" double-digit wage increases and likely represent record raises for auto workers.
A UAW spokesperson declined to comment. Bloomberg earlier reported the union's 25 percent target.
The strike, now in its 40th day, recently entered what Fain called a "new phase" involving more unpredictable escalations as he tries to push the companies for richer deals. The union during the past few weeks has shut down what it says are the biggest moneymakers for each of the Detroit 3, most recently GM's Arlington Assembly in Texas on Tuesday.
Talks remain "very active" with Stellantis, according to a source, despite a Monday strike expansion to that company's largest plant, Sterling Heights Assembly. The UAW recently gave a new proposal to Stellantis and was preparing to make a new offer to GM, the source said.
UAW bargainers were awaiting an updated offer from Ford, the source added, although it's unclear whether Ford was willing to provide a comprehensive proposal that differs much from what's already on the table, which Fain has characterized as the best offer.
Ford officials have said they are at the limit of what the company can offer economically, although there is still room to move money around within that framework depending on the union's priorities.
Ford Executive Chair Bill Ford told The New York Times that the automaker "could live with the deal we have proposed, but just barely."