Auto sector experts made gloomy forecasts about how a prolonged strike by its employees might lead to a reduction in jobs.
Marick Masters, a management professor at Wayne State University, and John McElroy, a writer, forewarned the United Auto Workers union on Thursday of the potentially terrible effects of a strike that continued on any longer while speaking to the Detroit Regional Chamber. The union has been on strike for almost a week against Detroit’s Big Three, General Motors, Stellantis, and Ford.
“Michigan would lose more than 150,000 jobs during a four-week strike. And over eight weeks, you can treble that,” Masters added, according to the Detroit Free Press.
On the first day of the strike, Ford fired 600 of its non-striking employees. The plants are so intertwined that they could not continue to operate if they were not all operating at full capacity, hence the layoffs were only temporary. Additionally, Stellantis has laid off 68 workers and intends to do the same to another 300.
McElroy noted that the demands made by UAW President Shawn Fain were too high for the union to continue to exist.
This may be the last contract Shawn Fain signs with the Detroit Three if he wants to reinstate the cuts automakers made during the Great Recession and work a 32-hour, four-day week. They might not still exist four years from now.
The largest auto union in the country last went on strike in 2019, and during those six weeks, it cost GM $3.6 billion. This time, all three of the Big Three Detroit automakers are the target of the union’s strike.
The UAW counts 400,000 members across the country. Only a few of its members are now on strike, but Fain has promised that if the demands aren’t met by Friday at noon, more of its members will go on strike.