When I heard the news about the UAW strike at American Axle, and how it was going to delay production of HUMMER H2s, I figured that it would be no big deal. I thought maybe a week or two will go by before they get things sorted out, production will ramp back up, and the 400 AM General factory workers will be back at work. Now I’m rethinking that.
When the HUMMER H2 plant run by AM General shut down yesterday, local news station WSBT-TV ran the story with employee interviews. One employee said that he’s going to look for another job, and that some are saying it could be September before the plant re-opens. I cracked it up to be doomsday-type thinking that swirls around any business that is facing a sudden slowdown.
Then came coverage from another local news operation, Fox-28, that suggested the September timeline was given out by AM General management, and even gave instructions on how workers could collect unemployment. Does AM General know something we don’t?
The New York Times is saying that a “quick end to the 10-day-old strike (is) unlikely.” With that said, they’re also reporting that both parties are returning to the bargaining table at noon Thursday.
The strike isn’t just affecting HUMMER. GM has idled a total of six production plants for trucks and SUV’s, and three more are slated for closure next week. The ripple effect has been huge, with the number of workers directly affected by the strike between 16,000 and 19,000 according to the New York Times and Reuters.
Time will tell whether or not the strike lasts another 6 days, or another 6 months – for everyone’s sake involved, I hope its days.
We have gotten a response from AM General in the comments section — please read below for the official word.