Here's the fallout from UAW's 40-day strike against General Motors

Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Business News

DETROIT -- No one wins in a strike.

That's the conclusion of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in Ann Arbor after it analyzed the UAW's nationwide strike against GM and the four-year contract that resulted.

Union members got higher wages and kept their health care coverage and cost structure along with other wins. But they did not get much in the way of added job security, said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of Industry, Labor & Economics at CAR.

The comments were made during a 90-minute webinar last week hosted by CAR called, "Implications of the 2019 UAW-Detroit Three Contract Negotiations."

"The UAW went into this looking for guarantees and certainly they didn't lose anything," said Dziczek. But after six weeks on the picket line, they came out of it with what they had," in terms of job security.

Meanwhile, the Detroit Three carmakers will each see their average hourly labor costs grow at a rate higher than their nonunion foreign competitors who run U.S. plants, said Dziczek.


Murky job security

For the Detroit Three, average labor costs will climb by 2023.

The UAW chose to negotiate first with GM and used that contract as a template for the agreements it hammered out with Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

The UAW's 48,000 workers at GM's 55 facilities in 10 states went on strike for 40 days before ratifying a new four-year contract on Oct. 26. The UAW had similar deals with Ford and FCA shortly thereafter.


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