WAYNE, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – Day 21 of the United Auto Workers strike brings signs of progress.

On Thursday, General Motors said it presented a sixth offer to the union. Many of the details are being kept under wraps, but those close to the talks say there has been movement in a few key areas.

Just the other day, the UAW gave a counteroffer to the company’s proposal from Sept. 21. 

There’s also some movement with Ford, where they’re getting closer on the number for a pay raise. This comes after a new offer Ford presented on Tuesday.

Under that offer, the seventh for Ford, workers would get a pay raise of more than 20 percent, along with cost-of-living allowances to address inflation, all tiers would be eliminated, and it would take half the time to earn top pay.

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Andres Gutierrez/CBS Detroit


“They’re trying to make it look good, you know, for the public and stuff. But if you’re inside, we know what we’re asking for, and it’s well deserving,” said Krissi Awishes, a Ford employee.

For Awishes, health care is a major sticking point.

“They’re not getting health care after they’re retired. There’s a big problem with that, especially for the kind of work that we do. It’s really hard on our bodies,” Awishes said.

The UAW expanded its strike to Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant last Friday.

It’s unclear if Ford is in the union’s crosshairs this Friday.

What is clear is the effects of the strike are hitting auto suppliers hard.

A trade association recently surveyed its more than 500 members and found that over 30% of suppliers have already started laying off employees due to the strike. 

“For the lower tier or smaller suppliers, their fiscal balance sheet just doesn’t have the same strength that it did, perhaps in 2019, during the last strike, it’s a very different time we’ve been through COVID, chip shortages, inflation, you name it, we’ve had it, and so these suppliers are in a financially very tough position,” said Julie Fream, president and CEO of MEMA Original Equipment Suppliers.

MEMA is asking the White House to consider making low-cost loans or grants available to small suppliers

“We think this is necessary to help them have the cash on hand to sustain their workforce and their facilities over this period. The more time that goes on, the more challenging it will be,” Fream said.

Those in the picket lines say they’ll be out here for as long as they need to.

“We got to stand up and come out rain, sleet or snow and come out and show them that we are one because why not?” said Angie Fuller, a Ford employee.

UAW President Shawn Fain will give an update during another Facebook live on Friday. It’s set for 2 p.m.

How to watch Fain’s announcement

CBS News Detroit 

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