UAW strike against big three automakers incurs nearly US$4 billion in losses


3rd October 2023 – (Chicago) The ongoing United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against the Big Three U.S. automakers has resulted in significant financial losses, nearing $4 billion, as it enters its 18th day on Monday. Economic consulting firm Anderson Economic Group (AEG), based in Michigan, has reported that the strike has caused direct wage losses of $325 million, with Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. (GM), and Stellantis NV collectively experiencing losses of $1.1 billion. Additionally, automotive suppliers have suffered losses of nearly $1.3 billion, while dealers and customers have incurred losses of $1.2 billion.

AEG predicts that the third week of the strike will be particularly damaging for Ford, exacerbating the financial impact on the automaker.

Despite the financial losses, a recent poll conducted by Navigator Research on Monday indicates that public support for the UAW strike remains strong. The nationwide survey of 1,000 registered voters, conducted between 21st and 25th September, reveals that 78 per cent of Americans support the striking UAW autoworkers more than the automakers. This support cuts across political and demographic lines, with 69 per cent of Republicans and 87 per cent of Democrats expressing support for the UAW over the automakers.

The poll also shows that over half of the respondents view the UAW favourably, and majorities across political parties and demographic groups support workers’ collective bargaining rights.

In a recent development, the UAW announced a tentative five-year contract agreement with Mack Trucks, covering approximately 4,000 workers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Florida. Mack President Stephen Roy expressed optimism about the agreement, stating that it would provide increased wages and maintain benefits for employees and their families while enabling the company to compete effectively in the market and make necessary investments.

Further details about the tentative deal with Mack will be disclosed as UAW members review the agreement.

The UAW adopted a new Stand-Up strike approach, initially calling for a strike at select factories of Ford, GM, and Stellantis on 14th September, after the previous contract with the Big Three expired. On 22nd September, the strike expanded to include 38 GM and Stellantis parts distribution centres nationwide due to a lack of progress in contract negotiations. On 29th September, around 7,000 workers at two GM and Ford SUV assembly plants joined the strike.

In total, approximately 25,000 UAW-represented workers from the Big Three U.S. automakers, out of a total of around 146,000, are currently on strike across the country.