Monday, September 16, 2019

Nationwide GM strike will hurt workers first

Over 40,000 General Motors workers are now on strike. But as Ian Thibodeau of the Detroit News tells us, it is they, not GM, who will suffer first.
The strike by the United Auto Workers at General Motors Co. plants across the U.S. will financially pinch union rank-and-file members long before the nation's most profitable automaker feels any pain, according to industry watchers.

Workers will see strike pay of $250 per week after Sunday night when UAW membership at more than 30 GM assembly plants, stamping facilities and other factories across the country walked off the job to demand a better contract. By comparison, the top production wage at GM is about $30 per hour, or $1,200 per week.

"Workers immediately feel this in their pocketbook," said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of industry, labor and economics at Ann Arbor's Center for Automotive Research. "$250 is way less than they make, and it's going to be difficult to live on. It's a big sacrifice. Their pain is individual and immediate."

A strike would have to last longer than a week if UAW officials want to start denting GM's balance sheet. The largest automaker in the United States made $27.5 billion in profits over the last four years of the contract.
In preparation for a strike, GM has been building up its inventory.

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