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Workers Stage Walkout at Detroit’s “Big Three”

The United Auto Workers union went on strike for the first time at all the Detroit “Big Three” carmakers early this morning, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

What’s going on: “UAW officials initiated the walkout after failing to clinch new labor deals with General Motors, Ford Motor and Jeep-maker Stellantis for about 146,000 U.S. factory workers. Bargaining went late into the night, but the two sides remained too far apart to avoid a walkout at the 11:59 p.m. ET deadline.”

  • Workers at a Ford Bronco plant in Detroit, a GM pickup-truck factory in Missouri and a Stellantis Jeep plant in Ohio were told to leave their posts.
  • The three targeted facilities make some of the firms’ most popular vehicles. 

Why it’s important: Automotive manufacturing in the U.S. is among the most productive industries in the world, underpinning the American economy as a whole.

  • In fact, a strike of 143,000 UAW members against GM, Ford and Stellantis could lead to an economic loss of $5.617 billion after just 10 full days, according to a recent report by Anderson Economic Group.
  • In 2019, a 42-day strike at one of the three vehicle manufacturers put the state of Michigan into a quarter-long recession and resulted in an economic loss of $4.2 billion, according to The Detroit News.  

Our response: “The impact of this strike will echo far beyond the city of Detroit, as multiple economic analyses have demonstrated,” NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said this morning. “The small and medium-sized manufacturers across the country that make up the automotive sector’s integrated supply chain will feel the brunt of this work stoppage, whether they are a union shop or not.”

  • “American families are already feeling economic pressures from near-record-high inflation, and this will only inflict more pain. We urge a swift resolution to end this strike and avoid further undermining the strength of our industry and harming our broader economy.”

NAM in the news: Bloomberg (subscription),  POLITICO, Reuters (subscription) and Bloomberg Law (subscription) all covered the NAM’s response to the walkout.

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