(NewsNation) — It’s been nearly 40 days since the United Auto Workers Union simultaneously initiated its first-ever strike against Stellantis, Ford and General Motors.
The escalating ripple effects are now extending far behind the picket lines, impacting showrooms with reduced vehicle availability, scaled-down or canceled auto shows and rising concerns among consumers.
Stellantis, the owner of Dodge, Ram and Jeep, is reevaluating its participation in some of America’s most prominent auto shows. The company indicated it will withdraw from the Los Angeles Auto Show and at least two other trade shows.
Stellantis asserts that the ongoing UAW strike has already cost the company millions and significant disruptions in production and inventory management.
The UAW contributes to 40 percent of all cars sold in the U.S. The strike has led to more than 34,000 workers across 22 states participating in picket lines.
The central concern revolves around the union’s call for improved compensation and benefits. In the five weeks since negotiations commenced, UAW President Shawn Fain has noted some progress.
“We’ve seen serious movement from both Stellantis and GM. Meanwhile, Ford continues to stew about KTP and pretend they can’t afford what we’re asking for,” Fain said.
GM, Ford and Stellantis have increased their offers to provide a 23 percent salary raise over the next four years, up from the 9 percent proposed when negotiations started.
“Everything we do is in service of building the strength of our membership and building a better future for UAW members and the entire working class,” Fain said.
As the strike enters its sixth week, the three automakers have already laid off more than 6,000 non-union workers, and additional layoffs are expected. The prolonged work stoppage is increasingly impacting the financial well-being of workers’ families, who are grappling with the challenge of making ends meet in the absence of a regular paycheck.
“The membership is ready for it all to be over instead of being in limbo every week,” one UAW member said.
Some non-union workers have questioned why union employees persist with the strike, given the increasingly severe impact on all workers.
However, Fain maintains his belief that automakers have additional concessions to offer, and therefore, negotiations will persist.