Tip Sheets

Autoworker strike entering escalation phase—what’s next?

Media Contact

Adam Allington

The United Auto Workers (UAW) and the Detroit Three automakers have one more day of contract talks before the union plans an expansion of its U.S. strikes. This comes as Stellantis, Ford and General Motors have announced furloughs and warned of idling employees at other plants because of the targeted strikes.

Arthur Wheaton

Director of Labor Studies, ILR School

Art Wheaton serves as director of labor studies at Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR).

Wheaton says:

“The layoffs are not surprising. An assembly plant typically supports 10 related jobs for every assembly plant job. As the assembly plants remain on strike multiple suppliers and related businesses will continue to lay off workers.

“The auto industry is highly integrated and redundant products are no longer a luxury the highly competitive sector can afford. GM also announced layoffs at nearby plants that share the stamping products from the plant on strike. All of this could easily escalate Friday at noon if better agreements are not negotiated soon.

“There was good news as Unifor reached a tentative agreement with Ford in Canada. Hopefully, that can spur on a deal between UAW and Ford here in the USA.”

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