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UAW strike against GM, Ford and Stellantis seems imminent


A strike seems imminent with UAW members authorizing the action against the Detroit Three, causing a lot of concern for everyone involved — including consumers.

For weeks now the UAW has been threatening a strike against the automakers with new Union President Shawn Fain leading the charge for a new contract. Now, Reuters is reporting that 97% of UAW members have authorized a strike when the current contract ends on September 14, 2023.

What does the UAW want?

The union has circulated a list of demands amongst the media and made it clear they are going public with this fight for a new contract.

Specifically, Fain has stated they want “a 46% wage increase over four years, a 32-hour work week for 40 hours’ pay, rolling over all current supplemental employees to full-time, cost-of-living adjustments, defined benefit pensions and retiree health care for all, increases to retiree benefits, the right to strike over plant closures, and more paid time off,” according to a CNBC story.

Fain has been spirited in his approach to the contract negotiations with one recent example of throwing a Stellantis contract proposal in the trash can.

Why would UAW members authorize strike?

The 142,000 members of the UAW working in the Detroit Three facilities say they have sat back far too long and have given up a lot in the last several contract negotiations.

Now, with the growth of electric vehicles potentially robbing them of more jobs and big profits by the Detroit Three — not to mention large salary increases for the executives — the members have had enough.

It is worth noting, this news doesn’t mean a strike is going to happen. The UAW vote just authorizes the leadership to go on strike if needed.

The last time the UAW was on strike, CNBC says, it cost GM $3.6 billion in lost revenue.

Why care about a strike?

This strike won’t matter to consumers, right? Wrong. Consumers will feel the impact by sending new truck inventory levels back to the Covid levels.

During Covid, dealer lots became empty and customer selection dwindled down to whatever you can find, that’s what you bought.

This caused not only disruptions for consumers, but dealership employees also lost jobs, communities lost tax revenue from new vehicle sales and parts supply dwindled causing long delays on replacement parts.

Additionally, a UAW strike would add on to the new truck delays that already exist — like GM  idling Fort Wayne assembly for two weeks due to parts shortages.

The bottom line

With new vehicle inventories just now returning to pre-Covid levels, a UAW strike would certainly impact everyone, and big, dark cloud would hang over our economy.

The fact is consumers who have been waiting to buy, might want to reconsider their plans and buy now before the wait times could get even longer.

Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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  1. Mike August 27, 2023

    Is all about the new hires,I have 35 yrs this doesn’t benefit the people with years You can’t get the young people work.

    1. Mike August 27, 2023

      To work

  2. Jo August 28, 2023

    Partly. But if you older employees hadn’t so easily sold the future new employees down the river all employees would not be eyeball deep in the current mess.So as you point that finger at others, think about the other 4 pointing right back at you. And just how enthusiastic would you be about your job working right next to the person who voted and accepted a contract that diminished your wages by half.

  3. Anonymous August 28, 2023

    UAW demands are ridiculous. Ever watched a vehicle assembly video. The work is not difficult.


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