Autos

GM strike affects about 150,000 auto industry workers, report says

Key Points
  • The prolonged strike at General Motors is estimated to have hit as many as 150,000 workers in the auto industry
  • The union wants GM to commit to building vehicles sold in the United States at UAW-represented factories, UAW Vice President Terry Dittes wrote in a letter to union members.
Striking United Auto Workers members and supporters attend a speech by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders outside General Motors' Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant on Sept. 25, 2019 in Detroit.
Michael Wayland / CNBC

The prolonged strike at General Motors is estimated to have hit as many as 150,000 workers in the auto industry, a report from research and consulting firm Anderson Economic Group showed on Tuesday.

The strike at the No. 1 U.S. carmaker began on Sept. 16, with its 48,000 members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union seeking higher pay, greater job security, a bigger share of the automaker's profit and protection of healthcare benefits.

A key issue separating the two sides is job security, the UAW's top negotiator wrote in a letter released on Tuesday.

The union wants GM to commit to building vehicles sold in the United States at UAW-represented factories, UAW Vice President Terry Dittes wrote in a letter to union members.

"We have made it clear that there is no job security for us when GM products are made in other countries for the purpose of selling them here in the U.S.A.," Dittes said.

"We believe that the vehicles GM sells here should be built here."

About 75,000 employees of auto parts suppliers have either been temporarily laid off or have seen their wages shrink due to the slump in demand from GM, according to the AEG report.

The total number of workers hit by the strike includes about 25,000 GM salaried workers affected by the plant shutdowns, it said.

About 5,000 workers at Michigan auto suppliers have filed for unemployment benefits as a result of the strike, the state's Unemployment Insurance Agency said on Tuesday.

AEG estimates that the strike has resulted in a $660 million profit hit for GM and more than $412 million in direct wage losses for all employees through the third week of the strike.

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