Auto analyst worried UAW strike with Big Three could hit 'point of no return'

"We’re willing to make the sacrifice. Whatever it takes," said UAW member Peter Kayal. "They know that we gave up a lot so send something back. That’s all we’re asking for. Equal. Equality. That’s what we’re looking for."

It’s the mood amongst workers picketing outside Ford Michigan Assembly in Wayne as the UAW’s targeted Stand Up strike finishes out day seven.

But industry experts say three more weeks of this would be detrimental to the economy.

"If the strike were to ramp up, affect all three companies, company-wide then it could result in the loss of 150,000 jobs," said Marick Masters. "A four-week strike in Michigan and it could be hundreds of thousands across the country."

Masters, a Business professor at Wayne State University, also says up to $ 1.5 billion in personal income would be lost.

He breaks it all down.

"Well the supplier base is one of the first that will be hit hardest," he said. "And for example, already now you have US Steel, which has idled a plant in Granite City, affecting over 1,400 workers. You have CIE which is a supplier, which has idled 300 workers.

"So there are ramifications in even this very short period of time. "

Related: Is the Big 3 making billions like the UAW claims? Auto expert says yes - and no

How do the workers feel about such estimates?

"Well, I feel sorry for them," said UAW member Stephanie Leaphart. "And I just hope it doesn’t go that far. I don’t want anybody to lose their jobs.

"This is not about us losing our jobs. This is about us getting better benefits for a company who make a lot of money on our backs."

"Just willing to go the distance," Kayal added. "I mean we’ve given up a lot. We just want something back."


UAW strike day 7: GM, Stellantis announce layoffs as negotiations continue

Both General Motors and Stellantis announced layoffs Wednesday as UAW members continue to walk the picket line at three facilities. These layoffs come as the strike nears the one-week mark with more employees potentially joining the picket line.

If the strike does go for a month or more, Masters says there would be a point of no return.

"It becomes almost impossible to recoup the damages," he said. "Because one thing we know for certain with respect to the businesses is the competition is not going to stand idle. They’re going to do what they can. "