UAW strike day 18: Estimated losses grow to nearly $4 billion, report says

Jordyn Grzelewski, The Detroit News on

Published in Business News

The United Auto Workers' strike of the Detroit automakers, now in its 18th day Monday, has resulted in nearly $4 billion in losses, according to an analysis released Monday.

The targeted walkouts of selected plants has resulted in $325 million in direct wages lost, $1.1 billion in losses to Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Stellantis NV, nearly $1.3 billion in losses to automotive suppliers and $1.2 billion in dealer and customer losses, according to East Lansing-based economic consulting firm Anderson Economic Group, which has done work for Ford and GM. The firm's estimates indicate that the second week of the strike, which was larger than the first, was more costly.

The strike started Sept. 15 with work stoppages at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, GM's Wentzville Assembly plant in Missouri and the Stellantis Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio. It then expanded to 38 GM and Stellantis parts distribution centers across the country Sept. 22. And on Friday, it expanded to Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant and GM's Lansing Delta Assembly plant. In all, about 25,300 UAW-represented autoworkers are on strike as contract negotiations between the union and the companies continue.

"Suppliers were particularly hard-hit by the UAW's strategy of announcing specific plants to be struck just hours before they were shut down," Patrick Anderson, AEG's CEO, said in a statement. "The shutdown of 38 parts distribution centers also crimped dealership service operations and, of course, caused more UAW workers to lose wages."

The third week of the strike is expected to be "significantly more costly for Ford," according to AEG, after the Dearborn automaker was spared a strike at its parts distribution centers but now will lose production of some of its most popular SUVs, the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator, with the strike at Chicago Assembly.

Anderson speculated that the "generally supportive sentiment" the UAW has enjoyed from the public thus far could begin to wane once "innocent bystanders" begin to feel the effects of the strike.


But so far public support appears to be holding up, according to a new poll conducted by progressive firm Navigator Research that the UAW highlighted Monday.

The polling results, based on a nationwide survey of 1,000 registered voters conducted between Sept. 21-25, indicate that Americans overwhelmingly side with striking UAW autoworkers over the auto companies, 78% to 22%. The support carries across partisan and demographic lines, with 69% of Republican respondents indicating they support the UAW more than the companies. The poll follows one conducted by Gallup in August that found three in four Americans sided with the UAW in contract negotiations.

Just over half of respondents reported viewing the UAW favorably, and majorities across political parties and demographic groups said they support workers having collective bargaining rights.

Meanwhile, in other UAW news, the union reached a tentative agreement over the weekend with Mack Trucks, averting a possible strike that would have sent 3,900 workers out to picket lines and further eaten into the union's strike fund. The company and the union said that an agreement, which still must be ratified by members, had been reached on a new five-year contract covering workers at facilities in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida.

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but Mack President Stephen Roy said in a statement that it would "deliver significantly increased wages and continue first-class benefits for Mack employees and their families. 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.”

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