The UAW’s first strike in more than a decade could cost GM $100m a day

With 46k UAW members on strike, GM could lose as much as $100m every day.

September 17, 2019

Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

Yesterday, 46k members of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) union went on strike at General Motors.

It’s the first UAW walkout since 2007, and it could have a big impact — both on GM and its partners. Here’s what you should know.

Workers at 30 factories in 10 states say GM has been greedy

The UAW also represents employees who work at Ford and Fiat Chrysler… but the union specifically chose to attack GM for prioritizing profits over ’ployees. Over the past 3 years, General Motors made $35B — but last year the automaker closed 4 factories.

The UAW demands GM improve wages, reduce the pay gap between new and existing employees, and reopen an Ohio factory that recently closed.

On the other side of the picket line, GM has offered $7B in investments in US plants, 5.4k new jobs, and salary and benefit increases.

So far, the 2 sides are stuck in a gridlock. 

Now what?

Experts predict that GM’s profits will drop by between $50m and $100m each day the strike continues (shares in GM dropped 4% yesterday).

But striking workers will feel the pinch, too: Workers are still paid during the strike — but only strike wages of $250/week.

Past UAW strikes have lasted as long as 3 days. 

But the size of these strikes has decreased over time as union membership has fallen: The UAW represented 177k GM employees in a 1996 strike; 73k in a 2007 strike; and fewer than 50k this year.

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