Auto Strike Looms
The four-year contract between 150,000 autoworkers and three US carmakers is set to expire at midnight tonight, potentially prompting a series of targeted strikes across the industry if no agreement is reached. Observers estimate a weeklong general strike—the first involving workers at all three companies—would cost the industry more than $5B over the next ten days.
Representatives from United Auto Workers have been negotiating for months with the Big Three: General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler). The union seeks a slew of measures, including double-digit wage increases, the restoration of pension plans, and more. The threat of a UAW strike—led by newly elected Shawn Fain, the first president elected directly by members—comes as elevated inflation reduces purchasing power.
While traditional carmakers have seen profitable recent quarters, they face headwinds as both the market and government subsidies pivot to electric vehicle manufacturing, a shift led by nonunionized Tesla. Ford officials claim their latest offer is its most lucrative in 80 years.