The UAW strike could be over, however will customers really feel it later?

The United Auto Employees’ six-week strike towards Ford, Common Motors and Stellantis could possibly be over now that the union has reached tentative offers with every of Detroit’s Large Three, however the brand new labor prices incurred by automakers within the recent contract agreements could also be felt by customers down the street.

Though the strike was restricted in its scope, the automakers felt it was because of the UAW shutting down a number of main meeting vegetation. The work stoppage price the business billions of {dollars}, and the Large Three all ratified file contracts with the union with a view to get manufacturing strains working once more.

UAW member walking away with strike sign

A “UAW On Strike” signal held on a picket line outdoors the Common Motors Co. Spring Hill Manufacturing plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, on Oct. 30, 2023. (Kevin Wurm/Bloomberg through Getty Photos / Getty Photos)

Every of the main U.S. automakers agreed to extend their union staff’ pay by 25% over the lifetime of the four-and-a-half-year contracts, together with cost-of-living changes that Shopper Studies says will push the worker pay hikes to 33% above present ranges. 

That could be a steep improve in labor prices, however some specialists say solely time will inform whether or not the raises will quantity to larger automobile costs sooner or later. Others say automobile value hikes are inevitable.


Information from auto stock and data monitoring agency Edmunds signifies the strike was not lengthy sufficient to affect automobile costs in any explicit course within the brief time period, however a spokesperson advised FOX Enterprise the agency’s specialists say it’s too early to inform how added labor prices would possibly have an effect on costs in the long run.

ford gas engine

Employees put engines on the body of Ford Motor Co. fuel-powered F-150 vans underneath manufacturing at their Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, on Sept. 20, 2022. (JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP through Getty Photos / Getty Photos)

Ford withdrew its full-year forecast final week citing “uncertainty” over its tentative cope with the UAW, and CFO John Lawler advised traders throughout the firm’s third-quarter earnings name that the brand new settlement will add one other $850 to $900 in labor prices to every automobile made.

These will increase will both be mirrored in new automobile value tags, absorbed by the corporate, end in automakers lowering prices in different methods, or some mixture of the three.


“The concessions the automakers have made are already being positioned as vital by the automakers themselves, which is setting the stage for these prices to be handed by to customers,” Alain Nana-Sinkam, co-founder of business monitoring agency Remarkit Automotive, advised CR. “Nevertheless, given that buyers are already fairly properly tapped out when it comes to automobile affordability, I’m unsure how a lot of that’s going to finish up sticking.”

Cox Automotive chief economist Jonathan Smoke mentioned in an announcement earlier this week that the brand new UAW contract can have each optimistic and destructive impacts on the economic system.

Ford trucks lined up on dealer lot

Ford F-150 pickup vans at a dealership in Colma, California, on July 22, 2022. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg through Getty Photos / Getty Photos)

“Union contracts with cost-of-living changes contributed to the wage-inflation spiral the economic system skilled within the Nineteen Seventies. And wage good points at UAW vegetation may improve labor prices in manufacturing facility cities, as all industries compete for staff,” Smoke wrote. “The upper labor prices will even contribute to ongoing inflation in automobile costs.”


He added, “Shoppers will bear among the price burden over time however on condition that affordability is already a problem for the market, the automakers is not going to have a simple time passing alongside all the prices to patrons and should search efficiencies in different methods, or additional restrict manufacturing to costlier automobiles that may soak up larger labor prices.”

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