UAW strike could double layoffs at automotive suppliers by mid-October

The effects from the united autoworkers union strike are trickling down into the suppliers, affecting dozens of companies and prompting layoffs.

Now on Day 21 of the UAW's Stand-Up Strike, the union's president is poised to make another announcement later Friday. The update is coming later than Shawn Fain's normally-timed announcements on Friday, but they usually arrive with a bevy of new targeted factories.

While that remains uncertain, what is clear are the ramifications piling up from the historic labor dispute between the UAW and Detroit's Big 3.

"What we found is that over 30% have already done some form of layoffs," said Julie Fream, of MEMA.

The Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association represents hundreds of suppliers across the country. Fream said the effects of the strike started small, but have since compounded. She said if the strike continues in the manner that has proceeded previously, they could expect to see 60% of suppliers with some form of layoffs by mid-October.

It can devastating effects on the communities where the suppliers are based.

"Often suppliers, especially the small ones are one of the key manufacturers in a small town or a rural area and when they go down that has a tremendous impact on that particular area," she said.

Combined with inflation, chip shortages, and Covid, it hasn't been a pretty picture for many of the suppliers. Because of that, Fream said MEMA has started looking for ways to mitigate some of the damage.

MORE: Another UAW Strike update coming Friday

"We’ve asked the federal government to help by stepping in and arranging either low-cost loans, low-interest rate loans, or even grants to help sustain suppliers during this time," she said. "So that instead of laying off these employees, they can keep them on the payroll."