Sept. 17 (UPI) -- The United Auto Workers union is rejecting a 21% wage increase as it holds to its demand for a 40% increase, president Shawn Fain said Sunday.
Appearing on Face the Nation, Fain said the union is asking for "our fair share in this economy and the fruits of our labor." UAW workers at Ford, General Motors and Chrysler's parent company Stellantis began their strike on Friday.
UAW is seeking a 40% pay raise, which would match the pay increases of the CEOs at Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. They are also negotiating for a four-day workweek and better benefits.
Fain said autoworkers' wages have fallen behind while the wages of executives have greatly increased. Meanwhile, benefits "went backwards."
"They could double our wages and not raise the price of the vehicles and still make billions in profits. It's a choice," Fain said.
"And the fact that they want to compare it to how pitiful Tesla pays their workers and other companies pay their workers -- that's what this whole argument is about. Workers in this country got to decide if they want a better life for themselves, instead of scraping to get by paycheck to paycheck, while everybody else walks away with the loot."
Workers are striking at the GM plant in Wentzville, Mo., Stellantis plant in Toledo, Ohio, and the Ford plant in Wayne, Mich.
The strikes at these plants will lead to production halting on certain models of vehicles, including Ford Rangers and Broncos, Jeep Wranglers and the Chevrolet Colorado, CNN reported.