Autoworker Strike Caused Billions in Losses

The recent strike by the United Auto Workers (UAW) resulted in massive financial losses for the Big Three automakers. The strike was ultimately settled by three separate agreements.

The walk-outs by the United Auto Workers (UAW) at a number of Ford, Stellantis, and GM plants ended last week. On Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, the corporations reached tentative deals, which led to the end of the six-week strike on Monday.

Stellantis was the hardest hit of the three automakers, losing nearly $5 billion in income as a result of the strike.

Natalie Knight, Stellantis’ chief financial officer, said in the company’s quarterly financial report that they led the industry in the first half of this year in adjusted operating income, AOI margin, and Industrial Free Cash Flows. She said keeping up the pace of their technology and electrification revolution while maintaining their position as a leader in the market for earnings and cash flow is their top priority right now.

Due to lower-than-expected production induced by labor stoppages caused by the United Auto Workers and the Canadian union Unifor, Stellantis recorded a loss of about $3.2 billion in the third quarter. The company lost money in the most recent quarter, although its net sales were up 7 percent year over year.

Ford reported a loss of $1.3 billion, while General Motors reported a loss of $800 million. 45,000 employees went on strike after the union’s reach was extended to include additional workplaces.

All of the automakers have reached an initial agreement with the union that includes a 25% increase in base salary and the return of automatic cost-of-living increases. According to the union’s announcement, the agreement will last until April of 2028. General Motors, for instance, updated their policy to include workers in its electric vehicle and battery plants.

The union members will have to vote on the tentative agreements, much like they did during the contract talks between UAW and Mack Trucks in early October; if they are rejected, the strike will continue.

UAW members at Mack Trucks, numbering over 4,000, rejected an agreement between management and union officials by a 73% to 27% margin, prompting a strike.