General Motors May Be Ready For An 11-Week Strike by the UAW

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UAW strikers outside GM's Flint Assembly plant. Image credit: WSWS.org

For months, GM and its dealers have been preparing for a UAW strike. How long can they go without UAW members working?

While both the United Auto Workers and General Motors are hoping for a short strike, both are prepared for a long strike if necessary, according to media reports.

Back in 2014, UAW leaders increased union dues paid by UAW members 25% for the purpose of increasing the union’s strike fund to ensure striking members received their $50 per day in strike pay (as well as strikers’ medical benefits).

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Although paying each of its 49,000 GM strikers $50 a pay (beginning on the eighth day of the strike) will cost the UAW at least $2.5 million per day, with more than $700 million in its fund, the UAW’s finances could last months without an agreement before its funds are depleted.

In addition, over the weeks leading up to the UAW walking out on strike, GM had been requiring “forced overtime” from UAW members in order to build up its inventory.

“They feel they have 11 weeks worth of supply, but what happens after that?” Jason Cords, general manager at Shaheen Chevrolet told Lansing, Michigan’s WILX News 10.



“We believe we have enough new vehicle inventory and attractive offers in the market to help us meet our sales and market share objectives for the foreseeable future,” according to a letter to dealers obtained by the Detroit Free Press.

“We are executing plans to help ensure that vehicles at our mixing and distribution centers are delivered to your stores in a timely fashion,” GM told the dealers.

Before the strike began on Monday morning, Cox Automotive reported that GM has “about a 77 days supply of total car, truck and SUVs” to last during the strike.

However, regarding specific GM brands and specific models the number of days’ supply differ, according to Cox.

  Days’ Supply Industry
Total GM Inventory   77 61
GM Inventory – Car 59 53
GM Inventory – Truck 80 64
Buick 98 61
Cadillac 89 61
Chevrolet 72 61
GMC 84 61
Cadillac Escalade 102 64
Chevrolet Silverado 93 64
Chevrolet Suburban 58 64
Chevrolet Tahoe 57 64
GMC Sierra 84 64
GMC Yukon 87 64

 

Whether or not the UAW’s strike lasts beyond a few days, it seems clear that both parties are prepared for a long strike, if needed.

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