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UAW says some progress in labor talks but wide divide remains

By David Shepardson

(Reuters) -The United Auto Workers union has made some headway in labor talks with the Detroit Three automakers just three days before a potential strike of 146,000 U.S. autoworkers, but an agreement was still not in reach, UAW President Shawn Fain said on Monday.

"We've made some progress, a little bit of progress but it's still slow but we're moving," Fain told CNN. "We have a long way to go. ... There's a lot of issues."

Chrysler-parent Stellantis said earlier Monday that it planned to make another counteroffer after the union made a revised offer on Sunday. The current four-year labor deal expires on Sept. 14 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

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The UAW on Friday had rejected revised offers from Stellantis, General Motors and Ford Motor. GM made a new offer to the UAW over the weekend, but the details were not immediately available. GM declined to comment.

The UAW initially sought a 20% wage hike upon ratification and four annual 5% hikes, but has trimmed those hikes to around 36% in total, two sources told Reuters.

"We are on a good path and remain committed to reaching a tentative agreement without a work stoppage that would negatively impact our employees and our customers," Stellantis told employees Monday, adding that the company and UAW subcommittees have reached tentative agreements in a number of areas, including health and safety.

Stellantis said Friday it had offered U.S. hourly workers a 14.5% wage hike over four years.

GM said Thursday it offered workers a 10% wage hike and two additional 3% annual lump-sum payments over four years. Stellantis last week did not offer additional lump-sum payments.

Ford last week hiked its offer to a 10% wage hike and lump sum payments after offering a 9% wage increase through 2027 and 6% lump sum payments.

The Detroit Three have offered to raise minimum pay for temporary workers to $20 an hour and reduce the time necessary to reach top wages for permanent autoworkers from eight years to six years.

The union's demands include restoring defined-benefit pensions for all workers, 32-hour work weeks and additional cost-of-living hikes, as well as job security guarantees and an end to use of temporary workers.

Stellantis previously offered $10,500 in inflation protection payments over the four years, while GM is offering $11,000 and Ford $12,000.

(Reporting by David ShepardsonEditing by Nick Zieminski and Leslie Adler)