Concerns mount for suppliers as the UAW contract deadline approaches
(WXYZ) – A potential strike looms amid negotiations between the Big Three automakers and the UAW, who represent nearly 150,000 auto workers. Much of the impact will be felt by hundreds of suppliers in the United States.
In Sterling Heights, Citic Dicastal and other suppliers are watching the negotiations closely.
For Dale Huddle, running a leading company that designs, develops, engineers and builds aluminum wheels for automobiles of all makes and models is a passion.
“These are wheels that are in production,” Hadeel said, as she accompanied us to the place.
“I’m ready to rumble.” UAW workers march in the May Day parade as the strike approaches
As an automobile supplier focusing on products of varying size, Hadl says his company employs 120 people at the site on Mound Road.
Business is also close to more than one auto plant, where UAW workers are negotiating for a new contract.
“We work with all the local manufacturers, and we assemble the vehicles in the NAFTA region,” Hadl said.
He says that with the strike deadline approaching on September 14, the outcome of what happens will have a significant impact on suppliers.
Right now, the UAW is calling for double-digit pay increases, scrapping tiers, restoring pensions, a 32-hour work week, and better healthcare.
The Big Three pledged to negotiate in good faith as things go.
The UAW lists requirements prior to contract negotiations with the Big 3
He said: “There is great concern about stopping work if there is a strike, and we hope that there will be no strike.” “Five out of eight jobs in the region are in some way related to the auto industry.”
He says that if a strike occurs, suppliers could face significant losses depending on their size.
“Everything stops and it supports the entire supply chain system,” Hadeel said. “It is already fragile as a result of COVID-19.”
David Zoya studies the auto industry and tells us that history has shown that smaller suppliers may not survive a potential strike.
“It’s going to be very critical. It could hit a lot of them very hard,” said Zoya, an automotive analyst at Ward’s Automotive.
With an enormous amount of parts shipped across the country each day, factories often rely on everything from engines to transmissions to doors, brakes, and more.
“It’s pins and needles for some of these guys. They just sit on the sidelines and will be touched without saying much,” Zoya said.
Hadeel says the industry’s overall footprint on the economy is profound.
“Restaurants, hotels. Everything in this city is linked to the auto industry. The real problem is that if it takes a long time…the economy is going the same way as the car companies,” Hadeel said.
Suppliers contact car manufacturers every day, telling us that they will continue to track the progress of the negotiations.
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