Automakers feel impacts from UAW strike against Detroit Big 3

Line workers only get $500 a week and will have to wait until the week after next to get their first check

DETROIT – Local 4 has yet to hear about offers from any of the automakers, and as we near the end of the first 24 hours of the “Stand-Up Strike,” we are already beginning to see the ripple effect.

Ford and General Motors were the first to say they are seeing parts shortages and layoffs in their future.

Auto plants are complex, and what they make often goes to other plants far away. But when you’re dealing with just-in-time delivery systems, a parts shortage happens quickly, and we already saw that in Wayne Friday (Sept. 15).

In this unusually open atmosphere, we’re unexpected inside industry background.

Ford stated that the UAW struck the paint shop and final assembly sections of Michigan assembly, putting about 3,800 line workers on the picket line and seeing production issues already.

There were 600 employees not to report to the integrated stamping section. They handle parts needing protective e-coating that comes from the paint plant, meaning no paint department, no parts, and no work.

General Motors is also saying the Fairfax, Kansas Plant where they build the Cadillac XT4 SUV and the Chevy Malibu will likely shutter next week.

The plant said they’re about to run out of stamped metal parts from the Wentzville, Missouri Assembly Plant the UAW included in its targeted strike Thursday night.

General Motors Global Manufacturing Executive Vice President Gerald Johnson weighed in on the strike ripple effect and the last national contract, which had a six-week strike.

“I am hopeful we will not repeat 2019,” said Johnson. “If I learned anything in 2019, it’s that no one wins when we are out on strike. Myself and the GM team will continue to work hard with everyone’s best interests as our focus.”

If you are looking for a way for the strike to end, an unlikely player weighed in when Former Automotive Task Force Chief Harry Wilson, who helmed the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies, offered a wage number that exceeds what’s on the table.

“Even if you assume normal inflation going forward, I think more likely than not if you look at compounding inflation since 2019 when it began today, and that ends up being 30% above where they are today over that period of time, and so you look at that I think is fair it allows workers to keep up with inflation,” said Wilson.

The strike is already costing money as line workers only get $500 a week and will have to wait until the week after next to get their first check.

In the meantime, S and P Global Mobility analysts say they’ve lost 3,200 vehicles because of the strike, which will only compound as the days wear on.

More: UAW strike rally taking place in Downtown Detroit

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.