UAW Strike Threatens To Cripple The Car Industry
Sep 16, 2023
Strikes by the United Auto Workers have gone on for a second day in a row now, with seemingly no end in sight. The largest union in the country has gone on strike due to their demands not being met. The strike is coordinated against 3 automobile companies, Ford, General motors, and Stellanis.
The strikes began on Thursday morning when the striker’s demands were rejected or rather the automobile industries did not reply to the striker’s deal, perhaps calling their bluff (which did not work in the end). The Union was asking a raise of 46% over the span of 4 years, the auto companies could only muster 20%. And now threatens the entire automaking industry since this effectively puts almost 14,000 workers not producing or repairing vehicles.
The strike has also caused backlog problems since Ford announced on Friday that they would have to lay off 600 workers due there being no work to do. GM announced it might have to lay off 2,000 workers AND close a Kansas car plant because of the lack of car parts being produced.
The effects of this cannot be overstated, if this goes on long enough (2+ weeks) it could cause thousands to be laid off, GDP to drop by billions, and send states like Michigan and Ohio (who are already on the edge of recession) to finally tip over into the recession camp.
UAW has done strikes before, if fact they did one in 2019 for 40 days, only it was only against 1 automobile company and was limited in size. This time its 14,000 across 3 different states and 3 different companies. A historic strike to say the least, and it comes at a time when diesel prices are rising, car parts are high, and shortages in car parts. What do you think will happen when you add 14,000 (and possibly more if Shawn Fain can convince more to strike, since the Union employs some 140,000 workers) employees strike for weeks on end? Its also important to note that these 3 automobile companies are responsible for a little over 40% of the total vehicle sales in the US. This could also have the unintended consequence of the owner of Ford or GM to increase the pace of automation for many of these jobs.