UAW strike’s economic toll hits $5.5 billion and counting

UAW Strike (

UAW Strike (

Automakers, workers, dealers, and suppliers grapple with growing costs

As the UAW labor strike enters its fourth week, the financial ramifications are cascading across multiple sectors, with no resolution in sight. Recent analysis reveals that the UAW strike has imposed a staggering $5.5 billion burden on the U.S. economy. GM has submitted a new contract proposal to the UAW in an attempt to break the deadlock.

An analysis by Michigan-based economic consulting firm Anderson Economic Group (AEG), cited in a Fox Business report, places the total financial toll of the UAW strike at $5.5 billion. This figure surpasses AEG’s earlier estimate of $4 billion earlier this month and even tops the $4 billion cost of the UAW’s 2019 strike against GM, which endured for roughly 40 days. Notably, the UAW is concurrently striking at all three major Detroit automakers (GM, Ford, and Stellantis), marking a first for the union.

The $5.5 billion estimate encompasses various components, including $2.86 billion in collective losses for the Big Detroit Three, $579 million in lost wages for workers, $1.26 billion in losses for dealers and consumers, and $1.6 billion in losses for suppliers. AEG CEO Patrick Anderson highlighted that the third week of the strike was notably more expensive than the previous two, with more factories shuttered and reports of parts shortages at dealerships.

A survey from MEMA, representing over 1,000 U.S. OEM and aftermarket supplier members, indicates that nearly 30 percent of surveyed vehicle suppliers have had to lay off employees directly due to the UAW strike.

With approximately 25,300 UAW members currently participating in the strike across all three major Detroit automakers, the UAW’s membership encompasses 146,000 workers within GM, Ford, and Stellantis. Notably, the UAW opted not to expand its strike against GM last week after GM agreed to include workers at the Ultium Cells battery plants in the national UAW labor agreement.

For the latest updates on the 2023 GM UAW strike and other GM-related news, subscribe to GM Authority for comprehensive coverage.