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GM Strike Now Impacting Customers

The GM strike is very rapidly closing in on the end of its third week, with roughly 50,000 United Auto Workers members staging a nationwide walkout following a breakdown in contract negations between the union and the automaker on September 16th. The strike is currently the longest nationwide autoworker walkout that GM has seen in decades, and has so far resulted in thousands of worker furloughs in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, as well as parts shortages for dealers and shops looking to fix GM vehicles. Now, GM Authority has received numerous first-hand accounts of how the GM strike has directly affected customers.

Readers writing to GM Authority have complained of delivery delays on new vehicles, including the Cadillac CT6, which has effectively stranded reader Frank M.:

“Just got word from my dealer that my CT6 was built three weeks ago just before the strike but the car is now stuck at the plant and don’t be shipped because of the strike,” Frank writes. “I timed this to have the new car arrive when my lease ends, now I’m stuck.”

In addition to impacting delivery times and inconveniencing customers, the GM strike is also affecting the incentives customers can leverage when purchasing a new vehicle, as outlined by reader Steve W.:

“Nobody knew what was going on with my Silverado order but it all makes sense now – dealer called telling me it’s sitting at the plant awaiting shipping but it won’t ship because of the strike,” Steve writes. “I really needed to take advantage of the discounts in September but that didn’t happen. Now the incentives are slightly worse in October. Worse of all is I don’t even know if the truck will get here in October.”

Understandably, the delays caused by the GM strike have resulted in a good bit of anger among customers, as expressed by one anonymous reader who signed their message with a lewd dig against the UAW we won’t republish:

“These lazy overprivileged UAW people need to get back to work. My Bolt has been ‘awaiting shipping’ at the plant for a month now, before the strike even started. We all want more money and better benefits and a better life but we don’t hold a company or the product of its people ransom because of it,” the anonymous reader writes.

For now, contract negotiations between the UAW and GM are ongoing, with the latest reports indicating that the union rejected a recent GM proposal that failed to satisfy worker demands. Some analysts have estimated that GM has lost upwards of $1 billion in potential profit since the strike began.

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Jonathan Lopez: Jonathan is an automotive journalist based out of Southern California. He loves anything and everything on four wheels.

View Comments (10)

  • So as a customer why deal with this BS...? The UAW is going to continue to ruin GM. The company needs “cuts” the UAW wants more of everything even while the employees already are the highest paid with dramatically lower healthcare costs.

    GM must lower costs so more US/GM mfg jobs are going bye bye... these employees are shooting the goose... in a global economy its the only way to stay competitive.

  • Don't worry, If GM don't have products , people will buy from others (i think Toyota, Honda, Ford , Hyundai , Nissan etc are still open )

    The end of the day, you can take golden eggs from the goose but don't kill it and you need to feed it properly to for it to be capable for laying golden eggs.

    Already GM sales are going negative because of the product quality. Now stopping more or stepping it from going electric etc will be suicidal.

    • The key is world is more evolving . 2005 it was phone's turn, then TVs ( Tube, LCD,LED ,QLED. + became smart ) (again most home appliances changed ) .

      Now this is turn of automobile. Its same path of TVs/Appliances . Propulsion technologies changes, It became more smart and connected and lot new business models like ride sharing, Uber etc comes on top of it .Artificial intelligence , Automation etc takes new heights. The need for commute or new ways of work ( Work from home ) all adds up. New generation prefers less commute and less cars. We are on saturation point for cars.

      We are living in very interesting times .... nobody's fault .Lets see how evolution takes.

  • Mary Barra makes $91,000 in one day. I make $60,000 as a GM employee in one year. Auto prices are going up every single year, but do we get a raise? No. Do the temps get hired permanent? No. Does machinery in the plants even get preventative maintainance, on anything like a regular basis? No. Does machinery get fixed the right way, when it breaks down? No, it gets jury rigged, so that the same thing happens again and again, constantly slowing production. People who say we are greedy, or lazy, don't put up with what we put up with. Temps or lower tier workers doing the same job as higher seniority workers, and making barely a living wage, getting no benefits at all-no vacation days, no sick days, no health benefits, no pension. Temps get 3 lousy call in days-that have to be approved in advance. I've seen temps come in sick as dogs, I've seen them miss important family functions such as weddings, the graduation of their kids, funerals. In our area, there are no jobs. And, the temps are always in hope that GM will finally hire them as permanent. I tell them, keep filling out job applications, and if something comes up, don't worry about giving GM notice. I tell them, to beg and borrow money from family to relocate, where there are jobs. If something else comes up, Just grab that other permanent job. GM will never hire them. I really think, that as people retire, GM wants an all temp workforce, who actually work for a temp agency. Who will decide if they give benefits, or what they will pay. GM workers are constantly getting hurt, because of an outdated idea of what ergonomics is. Herniated discs, rotator cuff tears, cartilage and ligament tears are endemic. Its not a question of will you end up with one or more of these injuries, but when. The same jobs give numerous people the same injuries, over and over, but GM will not change or modify those jobs. GM is so topheavy with management and engineers-its too many cooks in the kitchen, at the three plants I've worked at. There is no rhyme to their reasoning on this. No one agrees on anything, or you get three different job instructions from two different salary people. So, why do any of us do this work? Because we have mortgages, car payments, KIDS, and this paycheck keeps us squarely in the middle class unions created. Because we pay the taxes that keep our communities going. We are far from lazy or greedy. We gave up a lot to keep GM from going under, and now that the CEO and Board are making so much in salary, bonuses, and stock options, and Lord knows what other kinds of benefits, we want a piece of that too. We helped save this company, as much as the CEO did.

    • Karen, do you always complain this much? Why not change jobs? Ohh, because GM pays you more than anyone else will. UAW is going to bankrupt GM, then blame it on management. Honda, Toyota, VW, Ford, Chrysler, etc. all Pay their workers less. Im tired of hearing the UAW workers whine so much

      • Then stop reading? How much do you make? I'm sure you would like to make more, oh but you would never strike if you were in a union or better still you would just accept being used for your services while the rich get richer. Soon none of us will have any whining as you put it. This world is crumbling just like the economy. However, UAW don't give up.

    • @Karen: When you say "We gave up a lot", I think the general public has a real difficult time quantifiying / accepting that when you separate the "emotion" and look at the comparative data that's been published.

      It's been reported that the last "Contract" included 3% raises in the 1st and 3rd year, 4% bonus in the 2nd and 4th year, a good-sized new contract "signing bonus", 97% of your health costs were covered by GM and you got annual profit-sharing checks based upon NA Profits...which last time was reported around $11,000. (Please advise if any of this is incorrect...)

      All of which made the UAW-GM Team Members the highest compensated of the Big 3 by a sizable margin.

      So, very respectfully...I ask, what was "given up a lot of"? Thanks...

  • When people bought houses they didn't buy them at the soaring rates that goes UP in taxes every year! So why stay at the same rate of pay as things continue to escalate in prices? And healthcare as you know continues to escalate to where your body gets broke down and you have to have certain things done. You all look at the surface of things and not the root. However, yes GM needs to make cuts but it can be also done in other ways. Try cutting some of your top people who just SIT and get OVERPAID. It's not just UAW workers whom you all are calling lazy, it's also white collar workers, lots of them. Have a nice day.

  • When people bought houses they didn't buy them at the soaring rates that goes UP in taxes every year! So why stay at the same rate of pay as things continue to escalate in prices? And healthcare as you know continues to escalate to where your body gets broke down and you have to have certain things done. You all look at the surface of things and not the root. However, yes GM needs to make cuts but it can be also done in other ways. Try cutting some of your top people who just SIT and get OVERPAID. It's not just UAW workers whom you all are calling lazy, it's also white collar workers, lots of them. Have a nice day.