The United Auto Workers union strike against Detroit’s big three automakers is now on its fourth day and could cost the US economy up to $500 million by the weeks end.
General Motors, Ford and Stellantis are bracing for economic impact after refusing to meet union contract demands during crisis talks at the weekend.
Former CEO and chairman of Chrysler Bob Nardelli said on Fox Business Mornings with Maria that the economic impact reports are woefully underestimating the actual effect the strike will have on the economy.
‘This is far bigger than just three plants on strike. Every city, every state has dealers that will be affected by this,’ he said. ‘This thing has broad and deep tentacles that will affect our economy.’
Deutsche Bank estimated a full strike could cost each affected automaker about $400 million to $500 million per week if all production was lost. Anderson Economic Group predicts a full 10-day strike could result in a total economic loss of more than $5 billion.
UAW picketers have entered the fourth day of strikes after manufactures failed to reach a deal. The union is asking for pay increases, better benefits and an end to tiered employment
General Motors, Ford and Stellantis have all seen stock market price drops and are planning to resort to cost saving measures as the historic strike continues
Picketers hold signs as a truck transporting Jeep Wranglers drives by the Toledo, Ohio plant on Sunday
The manufacturers saw stock market price drops when trading opened Monday, after almost 13,000 workers walked off the job at once on Friday – the first time all three have simultaneously gone on strike.
Ford opened at $12.52, down .75 percent, Stellantis opened at $18.94, down 1.61 percent and General Motors opened at $33.77, down .50 percent.
Analysts expect plants that build more profitable pickup trucks such as Ford’s F-150, GM’s Chevy Silverado and Stellantis’s Ram to be the next strike targets if the walkout continues.
The union wants big pay increases, better retirement benefits and an end to tiered employment – demands they say the manufactures can afford to meet.
UAW President Shawn Fain (pictured) said they will do whatever it takes to get union demands met
Stellantis has put out counteroffer with a 21 percent pay increase which was rejected
GM warned Monday that more than 2,000 workers at its Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas could be out work this week due to material shortages jus days after Ford let go more than 600 workers.
UAW president Shawn Fain said there were: ‘minimal conversations over the weekend so the ball is in their court.’
‘In the last decade they made a quarter of a trillion dollars in profit. The CEOs gave themselves a 40 percent pay increase over the four years,’ he added on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
‘They could double our wages; not raise the price of vehicles and they would still make billions in profits. This is a choice by the companies. It is nothing short of two words, corporate greed.’
UAW is demanding wage increases up to 40 percent to match the CEOs and they want to restore cost of living adjustments. They are asking for a defined benefit pension for all workers and re-establish retiree medical benefits while increasing retirees pay.
The union has proposed more paid time off to be with families, suggesting a four-day work week with no pay cuts. They are also asking for the right to strike over plant closures as manufacturers shut down plants to transition them into electric vehicle production.
Manufactures say they have put out fair counter offers and that no one wins in a strike. Negative effects are already becoming apparent.
‘It is unfortunate that the UAW leadership’s decision to call a strike at Wentzville Assembly has already had a negative ripple effect, with GM’s Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas and its 2,000 team members expected to be idled as soon as early this week,’ General Motors said in a statement.
‘This is due to a shortage of critical stampings supplied by Wentzville’s stamping operations to Fairfax. We are working under an expired agreement at Fairfax. Unfortunately, there are no provisions that allow for company-provided SUB-pay in this circumstance.’
Picketers chant ‘No contract, no peace!’ in Wentzville, Missouri during the fourth day of UAW strikes
Deutsche Bank estimated a full strike could cost each affected automaker about $400 million to $500 million per week
Striking auto workers picket outside the Ford plant in Wayne, Michigan as 600 employees were let go after the first day of strikes
Ford is also preparing for a Canadian auto workers strike as contract negations between Unifor, the union that represents autoworkers in Canada, and manufactures approach their deadline.
Unifor President Lana Payne told CNN, ‘We’re not close at all. There’s a lot of work to get done to get an agreement by midnight Monday.’
While the strikes continue at Detroit’s big three, Tesla stock is rising providing an advantage for other nonunion automakers and electric vehicles.
President Biden as said he would said liaisons to help with contract negotiations, but Fain says there is no role for the administration to play.
The coordinated strike comes at a time when Americans’ approval of labor unions is at its highest point in decades even as membership in unions remains largely unchanged.