The strike begins just before midnight tonight and will involve nearly 50,000 workers across the US.
Yesterday, union officials allowed their contracts to expire which is what has set the stage for the impending strike. While the United Auto Workers (UAW) has been fighting hard for better wages, affordable quality health care, and job security, GM is fresh off an $8.1 billion in profits last year.
GM meanwhile to seriously reduce the company’s health care costs among other issues. GM and the UAW’s points of view are very similar where the expected softening of the market will seriously affect both sides.
In a discussion with NPR, Kristin Dziczek, vice president of the Center for Automotive Research, said: “The company looks at that and says, ‘Well, if we hit a downturn, we want to be able to have contingent compensation, so we don’t get locked into paying higher costs if the market softens.’ That same set of economic facts drives the union to want more guaranteed and certain compensation: base wage increases.”
According to Dziczek, in order for the strike to actually affect dealer inventories, it would have to last more than a month. She added that this will cause a ripple effect where engine and transmission plants, among other parts, in Canada and Mexico will be affected and sooner rather than later, also shut down.
To note, GM says that the average salaried employee makes $90,000 a year.
Bottom line, the picket lines go up at midnight tonight and tomorrow morning’s shift won’t be at its post.
We’ll keep you posted.