Potential economic impact of the UAW strike

Five on 2

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Nearly 50,000 auto workers across the country are on strike after negotiations broke down between the UAW and General Motors. Dr. Mark Clauson of Cedarville University joined 2 NEWS Monday to discuss the strike’s potential impact.

The last time the UAW went on strike as in 2007. The strike lasted for two days, and cost GM $600 million. This may serve as motivation for GM to be proactive about negotiating in good faith.

“It’s a lot of money for the company but it’s unlikely it’ll have a huge impact on the economy as a whole, what with the competitive nature of the automobile market and the relative shortness of the strike,” said Dr. Clauson.

The union says workers gave up raises and made other concessions to keep GM afloat during its 2009 trip through bankruptcy, and that it’s now the company’s turn to pay them back.

“There’s a tendency for both sides to distrust the other, but I think if you look at this objectively, both sides do have a particular point to make. But GM has a point: that they don’t operate on huge profit margins. So they can’t afford to give everything that a union will ask for,” Dr. Clauson said.

There are those who feel this strike is a test of the true power that unions hold in today’s workforce.

“I still don’t see their power increasing a whole lot. It might increase if the next president is democratic because he would probably have the ability to help the unions out, whereas the republican president isn’t helping them out as much as they would like,” he said.

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