A once-in-a-century strike hits the U.S. auto factories amid an ongoing supply chain crisis and historic inflation.
It's nothing to worry about, right? Right?
If you thought finding a decently-priced car was hard now, wait until we get a few weeks into this debacle.
About 13,000 U.S. auto workers stopped making vehicles and went on strike Friday after their leaders couldn't bridge a giant gap between union demands in contract talks and what Detroit's three automakers are willing to pay.
Members of the United Auto Workers union began picketing at a General Motors assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri; a Ford factory in Wayne, Michigan, near Detroit; and a Stellantis Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio.
The workers are striking for a "36% wage increases over four years."
That's, to put it mildly, a huge boost in less than half a decade.
Me yesterday: "Gee, I wonder if these expensive car prices are going to come down anytime soon so we can finally get that new minivan."
As the AP notes, it's "the first time in the union's 88-year history that it walked out on all three companies simultaneously." So it seems like it might be a modestly big deal.
If the strike lasts long enough, "dealers could run short of vehicles and prices could rise." (I mean, more than they already have, anyway.) It could "even be a factor in next year's presidential election" due to Joe Biden's repeated claim of being a union-friendly president.
I gotta say, you love to picture ol' Joe getting up there and defending the unions as the U.S. car market buckles and families can't afford the new cars they've been after. That would play well in November!
The union's new president, meanwhile, is optimistic about the companies' ability to meet the strike demands, claiming that the auto manufacturers could "double our raises and not raise car prices and still make millions of dollars in profits."
I'm sure they'll find out if that's true in the next few weeks. We all will.
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