At the time of this writing the United Auto Workers Union is on strike. The strike has entered its second week and has expanded from three locations affecting about 13,000 employees to 38 locations affecting an estimated 18,000 workers. The strike has expanded beyond vehicle production facilities to parts production facilities. In addition, some parts production operations have announced lay-offs as they are unable to ship their products.
The strike was brought on by two major factors – inflation and the push toward electric vehicles. Inflation has the immediate impact of rising prices for everyday living expenses coupled with increasing interest rates which make major purchase such as homes and new cars less affordable. The push toward electric vehicles portends a future in which there will be much less work for auto workers. Thus, the UAW wants a new contract for its members that compensates for these factors. The UAW strike primarily affects the big three automakers – Ford, GM and Stellantis (Chrysler). One potential impact on the automotive repair industry could be in supply chain disruption and parts availability. There’s no telling how long the strike will last but the effects will be felt and the quicker the union and companies reach an agreement – the better.