Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.
Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.

Toyota, Honda, Tesla May Be Big Winners From UAW Strike 

09/18/23 01:46 PM By Team MIRS

(Source: MIRS.news, Published 09/15/2023) The big winners from the UAW "targeted" strike of three auto plants may be other automakers whose supplies will not be restricted by the work stoppage, according to a pair of Michigan economists. 


Speaking on Michigan’s Big Show starring Michael Patrick Shiels, Timothy Nash of Northwood University said automakers are recovering from massive supply chain problems due to the pandemic. 


Now that parts and supplies are getting back on track, other automakers have an opportunity to produce more automobiles and sell them at a lower price, he said. 


“If I’m Toyota, if I’m Honda, if I’m Hyundai, Kia, anyone with large plants in the United States, I’m going to ramp up my production,” Nash said. “I’m going to try like never before to convince people to buy other brands rather than General Motors, Ford or Chrysler.” 


Likewise, appearing on Off The Record Friday morning, economic consultant Patrick Anderson warned UAW and the Detroit 3 that: "we've entered a phase which is combustible and has risks for both sides." 


Asked to define the term “combustible,” he quickly shot back: "it means it could blow up." If U.S. carmakers are not grinding out vehicles, the motoring public has other choices, Anderson said. 


"American consumers have lots of alternatives here,” he said. “Alternatives built in Georgia, Alabama, Texas, and work done by non-union plants" building Hondas, Teslas, and other foreign cars," he warned. 


Another risk involves the "B" word. 


Anderson said he believes if the union pushes too hard to restore the Jobs Bank, whereby unemployed auto workers get a job that is not a job, this could happen.   


"We had a Jobs Bank and it was one of those things that drove GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy (and) the union wants to return to the Defined Benefits pension system and that's something that is a bankruptcy risk, too." 


His calculation on how much the money loss could be comes in around $5.6 billion in direct wage losses in the auto industry from a 10-day strike. 


Nash said the longer the strike moves on, the UAW will pick other strategic locations to strike so that other plants will need to shut down due to inactivity among suppliers. This will result in layoffs that would allow workers to draw from unemployment benefits as opposed to the $250 million UAW strike fund. 


Obviously, the 12,700 employees who went on strike are not eligible for unemployment. Those who need to be laid off, however, would be.