Unwillingly Along for the Ride
By Dan Markham
on Sep 18, 2023
On Friday, members of the United Autoworkers did what seemed inevitable: announced a strike against the Big 3 automakers.
In the months leading up to the work stoppage, all signs pointed to the inability of the union and the automakers to reach a settlement before the deadline. The only mystery that remained was just how the union would implement the strike.
In previous work stoppages, the union would target one automaker. This time, however, the UAW spread the damage around, beginning a strike at one plant each for General Motors, Ford and Stellantis.
Specifically, autoworkers at GM’s plant in Wentzville, Mo., Ford’s factory in Wayne, Mich., and a Jeep facility in Toledo, Ohio, were chosen for the work stoppages. UAW President Shawn Fain has promised strikes will begin at more sites as the strike goes on.
With the UAW asking for wage increases of close to 40 percent, among other requests, and the automakers countering with salary hikes of approximately half that, the stoppage may not be a short one.
Unfortunately, the steel, aluminum and other industrial metals in the automotive supply chain may become collateral damage in this automotive spat.