UAW Strike 2023: Key Issues Facts and Impacts to BOTH Sides

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UAW Strike 2023: Key Issues Facts and Impacts to BOTH Sides

The stakes are high as a new UAW president fights. The stakes are high as a new UAW president fights for a self-described 'audacious and ambitious' list of demands from Ford, General Motors and Stellantis.

UAW President, Shawn Fain and Bernie Sanders spoke at a rally for the UAW in Detroit Friday.  Union supporters then took to the streets to march past the GM Renaissance Center and back to the UAW-Ford Joint Trusts Center. Workers want a raise and more benefits.

The UAW has also criticized President Joe Biden’s efforts to promote electric vehicles. This will reduce the work force by 40% if manufacturers produce only electric cars. All of this while battery plants are built in non-union states.

Automotive suppliers at every tier are playing the waiting game as the UAW strike against the Detroit 3 automakers unfolds, preparing for potential layoffs should it be a prolonged work stoppage.

Dealers across the country are putting contingency plans into action now that production has stopped at three vehicle assembly plants amid the UAW launching a historic strike against all 3 Detroit automakers early Friday.

A 10-day strike could cost the economy $5.6 billion.

If the strike lasted only a few days, the three automakers might not struggle too much, given all have inventories that could last about two months — and much longer for some models. At the start of the pandemic, automakers faced supply-chain constraints, particularly with computer chips, that hindered vehicle production. Despite a lack of inventory, industry profits skyrocketed, even though 2022 was the worst year for sales for the auto industry in over a decade.

Bloomberg reported that these wage increases and other changes could amount to over $80 billion in additional expenses for each company over four years. Other companies that heavily rely on these automakers, such as auto-parts makers, which get as much as one-third of their revenue from these three companies, are also expected to see major drops in earnings in the event of a strike.

The strike could seep into politics as campaigning picks up for the 2024 presidential election. Key swing states such as Michigan and Wisconsin would likely take large economic hits from the strike.

Car prices have been leveling off as manufacturers have built up inventories since the big price spikes at the height of pandemic supply-chain woes. But a strike could cut into those inventories, leading to renewed price hikes and a new round of customer anxiety.

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