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CBiBank Research Department: Auto Industry Grapples with Strikes as "Big Three" Express Disappointment

UNITED STATES, November 29, 2023 / -- According to the research released by CBiBank Research Department last week, Detroit, MI -- September 15, 2023 — At the center of a burgeoning labor dispute, the "Big Three" automakers collectively voiced their disappointment, branding the ongoing strike "unnecessary." The unfolding events have plunged the auto industry into a state of uncertainty as negotiations between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and major automakers failed, initiating a widespread strike across several states.

In response to recent developments, senior U.S. government officials intervened, aiming to facilitate a reconciliation between labor and management in Detroit. The union's declaration that the current strike is only the beginning, with intentions to escalate in scale, has heightened tensions, primarily targeting the disruption of car manufacturers' production schedules.

The companies involved hold starkly opposing views. While General Motors contends that it has offered the most favorable conditions to its workers in its 115-year history, Ford has resorted to temporary layoffs due to ongoing disruptions in its supply chain. With Ford having laid off over 600 workers and indications pointing towards a disruption of at least 3,000 positions, the impact on the industry is palpable.

The strike, which has affected assembly plants in Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio, has resulted in a significant dent, collectively accounting for 9% of North American car production. The United Auto Workers (UAW) strategically began the strike in select factories as a measured approach to diminish the production of profitable vehicles by these companies while aiming to lessen the impact on the UAW strike fund. The union has indicated a potential progression in strike actions based on the trajectory of ongoing negotiations.

Amidst the unrest, President Biden underscored a sentiment shared by many, expressing hope for a mutually beneficial resolution. Citing a lack of equitable profit-sharing, he urged the parties to seek a "win-win agreement," acknowledging the significant contributions and sacrifices of the workers that have facilitated record-breaking profits for the auto companies in recent years.

The "Big Three" automakers rebuffed the strike, emphasizing its redundancy while expressing profound disappointment. General Motors CEO Mary Barra conveyed dissatisfaction with the ongoing events, highlighting the monumental nature of the company's latest offer to the union, which includes a substantial pay raise over four years, cost-of-living allowances, and pension subsidies, alongside commitments to develop electric vehicle power units, securing employment amidst the electric vehicle era.

Conversely, the UAW leadership's reluctance to engage in negotiations has stirred discontent among the companies involved, with assertions that initial demands have been met with minimal action, raising concerns about bolstering non-union competitors.

The chain reaction of the strike has reverberated through Ford, leading to temporary layoffs and inciting apprehension about the potential for further disruptions in the event of a prolonged standoff.

Cecilia XU
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