U.S. autoworkers lose nearly $6 billion in six-week strike; Canadian automakers like Oakville-based Ford avoid big losses

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Published November 30, 2023 at 3:28 pm

auto strike

U.S. automakers lost a combined $5.8 billion after a six-week strike that affected multiple production facilities at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis.

Figures released this week by the Big Three auto giants show Stellantis, makers of Chrysler and Jeep vehicles, lost an estimated $3 billion during the strike by 43,000 unionized workers with the UAW. Ford declared $1.7 billion in losses, while General Motors said the company lost $1.1 billion.

In total 146,000 workers in the U.S. were affected by the shutdowns.

During the strike, the UAW implemented a targeted strategy that called for union members to walkout at specific facilities, rather than all facilities all at once.

The strike, which will likely lead to mark-ups on new vehicles of about $900, will bump the pay of American assembly plant worker pay by about 33 per cent by the time the deals expire in 2028, when top-scale workers will make about $42 per hour, plus profit-sharing.

Canadian automotive companies largely avoided great losses by ratifying deals with Unifor, which represents about 18,000 workers, before or within a few hours of the strike deadline.

GM workers ratified its deal after a strike that lasted 13 hours in October and Stellantis auto workers signed on to the deal a couple of weeks later after a strike that lasted just a few hours.

Oakville-based Ford Canada and its 5,600 unionized workers avoided a strike altogether when it agreed to the negotiated deal just before its strike deadline in September.

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