Oct 4, 2023 - Economy

How the UAW strike is affecting workers and the economy

United Auto Workers members on a picket line outside the Ford assembly plant in Chicago on Sept. 30. Photo: Taylor Glascock/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As the historic United Auto Workers strike against the Detroit Three automakers nears a third week, thousands of workers have been laid off and the vehicle giants are starting to count losses.

The big picture: The strike that started on Sept. 15 resulted in $3.95 billion in economic losses in its first two weeks, per a report from consulting firm Anderson Economic Group.

  • Of that, $325 million was in direct wages lost, $1.12 billion was in losses for Detroit 3 manufacturers, $1.29 billion was in supplier losses and $1.2 billion was in dealer and customer losses, per the report.
  • General Motors, for one, has said the strike has already cost the company $200 million in the first two weeks.

Why it matters: Some 3,780 employees have so far been laid off across General Motors, Ford and Stellantis.

  • That's 1,330 people at Ford, 350 people at Stellantis and more than 2,100 at General Motors, per figures provided to Axios by the companies.

What they're saying: "When the innocent bystanders begin to feel it, it will affect the generally supportive sentiment Americans have been expressing about the UAW's demands thus far in the strike," Anderson Economic Group CEO Patrick Anderson said in a statement.

Catch up quick: The strike initially targeted one assembly plant from each of the automakers but the union then expanded the strike to target 38 parts distribution centers and two more assembly plants.

  • Some 25,000 workers, or 17% of UAW members, at the Big Three, are currently on strike.
  • The union had made an initial demand for a 40% pay increase and a return to traditional pensions and retiree health care.

Go deeper: UAW expands strike against Ford, General Motors

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