Losses Growing as Auto Strike Against Big Three U.S. Automakers Enters 18th Day

Striking United Auto Workers walk the picket line outside the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, U.S. September 17, 2023. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

The United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against the Big Three U.S. automakers has resulted in nearly 4 billion U.S. dollars of losses as it enters the 18th day Monday.

According to Michigan-based economic consulting firm Anderson Economic Group (AEG), the strike has resulted in 325 million-dollar losses in direct wages, 1.1 billion-dollar losses to Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. (GM), and Stellantis NV, nearly 1.3 billion-dollar losses to automotive suppliers and 1.2 billion-dollar losses to dealers and customers.

AEG expects the third week of the strike to be “significantly more costly for Ford.”

Public support for the strike remains strong so far, a new poll conducted by Navigator Research on Monday shows.

Based on a nationwide survey of 1,000 registered voters conducted on Sept. 21-25, the poll indicates that 78 percent of Americans support the striking UAW autoworkers more than the automakers. The support is shared across partisan and demographic lines, with 69 percent of Republican and 87 percent of Democrat respondents indicating they support the UAW more than the automakers.

Over half of respondents view the UAW favorably, and majorities across political parties and demographic groups said they support workers’ collective bargaining rights.

The UAW announced just before midnight Sunday that it has reached a tentative five-year contract agreement with Mack Trucks that covers about 4,000 workers in the U.S. states of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Florida.

“The terms of this tentative agreement would deliver significantly increased wages and continue first-class benefits for Mack employees and their families,” Mack President Stephen Roy said in a statement on Monday. “At the same time, it would allow the company to successfully compete in the market, and continue making the necessary investments in our people, plants and products.”

The UAW said that more details would become available as members review the tentative deal with Mack.

Following a new Stand-Up strike approach, the UAW announced a strike at three select factories of Ford, GM, and Stellantis on Sept. 14, after its contract with the Big Three expired. It spread the strike to 38 GM and Stellantis parts distribution centers around the country on Sept. 22, following a lack of meaningful progress in new contract negotiations. It called on around 7,000 workers at two more GM and Ford SUV assembly plants to strike on Sept. 29.

In all, about 25,000 out of some 146,000 Big Three U.S. automaker workers represented by the UAW are now on strike across the country.