The UAW faithful at American Axle will soon be entering week 12 of their strike which has idled General Motors plants across the nation, including the HUMMER H2 plant in Mishawaka, IN and the HUMMER H3 plant in Shreveport, LA. I know many visitors to the site work at HUMMER dealerships and related businesses around the country who are feeling the effects of halted production. There are also a lot of folks interested in purchasing HUMMERs who are unable to find their desired vehicles due to low inventory. Here is the latest in the American Axle/UAW strike.
Even though GM isn’t literally on either side of the bargaining table, The General remains extremely interested in a speedy settlement. According to the Wall Street Journal, GM estimates they’ve lost nearly $800 million in revenue due to the strike. Numbers in the red of that magnitude have inspired the general to offer some green – $200 million to be exact. GM hoped the large sum would help bridge the two sides, but the UAW is calling the move a ‘mistake.’
During an interview with a Detroit radio station, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said the move has encouraged American Axle to take a more firm stance which has slowed negotiations.
I think the bigger ‘mistake’ is the UAW not taking this kind of offer, since there are two likely scenarios. The first is that American Axle shuts down the plant and shifts the work to its plants in Mexico and 3600 American jobs are lost indefinitely to another country. The second scenario is that the UAW will hold out a little longer— just long enough for GM to increase their offer again, thus dealing a huge financial blow to the already struggling auto maker. In both scenarios the UAW’s greed/strike will hurt more people than it helps.