United Auto Workers president Bob King said the union doesn't want to add to the fixed costs of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler in pay negotiations.
"We are going to make sure the companies are competitive coming out of these agreements," King said in a speech in Detroit. "We are not going to disadvantage the companies we work for. Heck, we all want a wage increase, but is that the best way?"
"[The UAW is] asking for more for senior workers in a different form, through profit sharing and other ways of increasing compensation without increasing fixed costs," Harley Shaiken, a professor of labour relations at the University of California at Berkeley, said in a phone interview.
The union's contracts covering 113,000 workers at GM, Ford and Chrysler expire on September 14. King has said the union will not make concessions while still keeping labour costs competitive. King said workers must be rewarded for the $7,000 to $30,000 (Dh25,700 to Dh110,200) in concessions they each gave to help the US automakers survive.