ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Nearly 150,000 autoworkers across the country could go on strike in a matter of hours.
Time is ticking for the ‘Big Three’ car manufacturers including Ford, GM, and Stellantis, to reach an agreement before contracts expire at midnight.
According to UAW Local 1097 union president Dan Maloney, approximately 700 workers are prepared to walk off the job Thursday night.
So far, automakers have raised initial wage offers slightly but have rejected the union’s other demands. Union representatives say, at this time, a deal is from from reach.
“They need to come up on pay on wages, on benefits. return our weeks vacation and stolen pensions, and post retirement healthcare. end the tiered wages, end the abuse of temporary workers,” said Maloney.
The last UAW strike was held in 2019, however, this is the first time the Big Three companies are involved at once.
“The offers we’ve been given have been insulting. When we’re on strike, it’s targeted strikes. It won’t be the entire corporation going out this time. Our president will have the ability to ratchet up the heat and start day by day or week by week, adding more plants to the strike line,” said Maloney.
At East Ave. Auto, owner Paul Marone says auto shops will start to see a delay in the parts they order should a strike take effect.
“We could see this as early as next week.. Now, parts for cars come overnight. It does have a trickle-down effect where we can’t get particular parts. Everything is just in time the way they do things now, a lot of the dealers don’t stock some of the parts we have,” said Marone.
Car buyers aren’t expected to see an immediate impact. Over time, however, things could change.
“I think there’s going to be enough cars on the lot. The consumer will have some choices for a couple of weeks, but it won’t be long before those lots get even skinnier than they have been. The consumer choices will go down, so the price of the vehicle will probably go up. Consumers will look elsewhere,” said Maloney.
As talks continue, the UAW Local 1097 union anticipates learning more by 10 p.m. Thursday.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.