United Auto WorkersThe union representing about 150,000 workers at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis continues to move closer to a strike.
The strike threat comes after GM and Ford posted record profits last year, with workers demanding their fair share.
Their demands include: a nearly 40% wage increase, a 4-day work week, health care for retirees, cost-of-living increases, and getting rid of the two-tier wage structure that keeps wages low for new workers. . Some of those demands would undo concessions granted to help control costs during the 2008 financial crisis, when the federal government stepped in to bail out automakers.
Merrick Masters said, “Companies want to say that if we strike we’re going to ruin the economy – we’re going to ruin their economy, the economy that only works for the billionaire class, this working class. Doesn’t work for.” Business Professor at Wayne State University.
Economists say the strike will have a crippling impact on the U.S. economy – particularly the economy of the Midwest, where auto plants are concentrated.
Automakers account for 3% of US GDP, while Detroit’s Big 3 make up about half of the total US car market.
According to Anderson Economic GroupThe 10-day strike would cause an estimated $5 billion loss to the national economy. Not to mention the impact on the Big 3. In 2019, a 40-day strike cost GM alone $3.6 billion.
What impact will this have on consumers? At the end of August, the Big 3 had a total of about 70 days of inventory. with analysts AutoForecast Solution Says the three-week strike will deplete inventory, resulting in higher prices and encouraging buyers to buy foreign brands.
While the strike will weigh on the economy, auto workers say they have no option but to fight for their livelihood. For their part, the Big 3 companies say the UAW’s demands are too costly.