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Study: Costs of strike mounting for GM workers and GM alike

uaw strike signs laying on the ground
Katie Raymond
Michigan Radio

The United Auto Workers strike against General Motors is in its third week, and it's costing a lot of people a lot of money.

"At this point, it's already quite painful in the United States, particularly in metro Detroit, says Patrick Anderson, CEO of the Anderson Economic Group.  "And our estimated wage losses are already above $400 million right out of people's paychecks that work in the automotive industry."

That $400 million estimate includes both striking GM workers and workers in the supplier industry who've been laid off because of the strike.

Anderson says GM has lost about $600 million in revenue from the strike. But he says the automaker was well prepared for the strike, with above-average inventories of vehicles.

Now, however, the company is experiencing a shortage of some parts for repairs, and it's starting to have to tell some customers they'll have to wait for exactly the vehicle they want.
Anderson says the strike really isn't about wages. The union wants GM to hire its temporary workers permanently, and agree not to close more plants.
But he says GM probably can't agree to that and stay competitive.
"It's already a very expensive strike. And if we go into a fourth week, it's gonna get worse," says Anderson.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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