The United Auto Workers union wants a bigger share of Detroit's newfound profits while the car companies hope to cut labor costs in contract talks that begin Monday.
Workers agreed to give up pay raises and benefits to keep the companies in business as they headed for financial trouble starting four years ago.
Now that General Motors, Chrysler and Ford are making money again, workers want compensation for their sacrifice. But the companies want labor costs that are competitive with Toyota, Honda and Hyundai.
Both sides say they're willing to talk about profit sharing instead of raises.
The negotiations start Monday at Chrysler. They are the first since Chrysler and GM took government aid and emerged from bankruptcy in 2009.
The UAW's contracts with Detroit automakers expire on Sept. 14.