The GM strike is now in its second week, making for the longest nationwide UAW walkout since the ‘70s. Unsurprisingly, the strike has had wide-ranging effects, with impacts felt not only by General Motors, but also by car owners, workers, and dealers.
For example, with replacement part warehouses now shut down by picketing UAW members, dealers are running out of replacement parts to fix customer cars. This includes dealers in the Southeast region, which are no longer receiving parts from the parts depot in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to GM dealer owner Ed Williamson.
GM Spokesman Jim Cain addressed the issue, offering possible solutions like sourcing parts from management-staffed depots, other dealers, or directly from suppliers. “Obviously it’s a difficult situation, and we are working to find other sources of parts around the country,” Cain said.
Meanwhile, GM supplier companies are also feeling the effects, with thousands of employees furloughed without the strike benefits offered to other UAW members. Thousands of workers in Canada have also been furloughed.
Back here in the U.S., UAW members are offered $250 in weekly strike pay, far below the estimated $1,200 weekly pay made on the job. Morningstar analyst David Whiston estimates the GM strike will cost the UAW around $31.5 million a week in strike pay and health care costs, with money pulled from the union’s $750 million strike fund.
At the dealer level, inventory remains high after GM stocked up on vehicles in anticipation of the strike, putting together a 77-day supply of vehicles at the end of August, more than the 61-day industry average. However, some dealers are starting to run low on certain models, such as the Cadillac XT5. That said, according to the executive analyst for Autotrader Michell Krebs, sales have slowed since August.
Then there’s the long list of restaurants and other businesses that serve workers at the factories, which are now closed down due to the GM strike.
As for General Motors itself, the automaker stands to lose millions of dollars, with some analysts predicting loses of upwards of $100 million a day. More than 30 U.S. factories across the U.S. are closed due to the GM strike.
Contract negotiations between the UAW and GM continue, with minimal reporting on progress, although previous reports indicate that talks have been slow-going in establishing a new labor contract.
Source: Associated Press