The automotive sector is navigating through turbulent waters as the UAW strike unfolds, impacting the Big Three—General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis. This situation presents a complex tapestry of challenges and developments for those keen on GM and the broader automotive narrative. Here’s a detailed update as we traverse day four of the UAW strike and exclusive news on how it’s affecting Chevrolet and GMC full-size pickup production.

The UAW Strike Landscape

The UAW strike, now in its fourth day, is a significant event that’s affecting the Big Three in equal measure. The genesis of this industrial action can be traced back to September 14th, when the UAW’s contracts with GM, Ford, and Stellantis expired without a new agreement on the horizon. The UAW has adopted a strategy known as the “stand up strike,” which is designed to intensify over time, thereby increasing pressure on the automakers. As of September 18th, the strike has seen active participation from workers across various facilities, including GM’s Wentzville Assembly, Stellantis’ Toledo Assembly Complex, and Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant. The possibility of a more extensive, all-encompassing strike remains very real.

GM and UAW Contract Negotiations: The Clock is Ticking, and Trucks Are on the Line
GM and UAW Contract Negotiations: The Clock is Ticking, and Trucks Are on the Line

Supply Chain Repercussions

The strike’s ripple effects are evident in the supply chain. CIE Newcor, a prominent automotive supplier, has sounded the alarm about potential layoffs at its four Michigan facilities. They project a layoff scenario involving over 290 employees commencing next month. This unsettling development emerged on the cusp of the UAW’s decision to initiate its significant strike action.

A Glimpse Inside GM’s Operations has exclusively talked to employees and union members working inside assembly facilities that remain online. While the news of the Wentzville Colorado/Canyon assembly shutdown dominates the news, problems are quickly popping up at other GM factories and threaten to engulf Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra production, even if those plants remain “open.”

Here’s what we’ve learned:

  • GM’s full-size truck assembly is grappling with a pronounced parts shortage.
  • In a strategic move, GM’s top brass has decided to halt the delivery of some full-size truck parts, driven by concerns about them being potentially stranded or unused during a plant shutdown.
  • An increasing number of vehicles, still midway through the assembly process, are being stockpiled.
  • The parts shortages, notably from Wentzville, are creating cascading effects on other assembly lines.
  • Operational adjustments are evident, with some shifts being canceled while others are working overtime in a concerted effort to stockpile essential parts and vehicles.

UAW Negotiation Dynamics

The negotiation arena has been active, with talks resuming over the weekend between the UAW and the Big Three. The coming days are expected to be crucial for these discussions. The UAW’s stance is assertive: they argue that the Big Three’s record profits in recent years should be reflected in enhanced employee benefits. Their list of demands is comprehensive, encompassing a wage increase of over 40%, the abolition of tiered wages, and the restoration of pensions. While acknowledging their financial successes, the automakers are emphasizing their sizeable investments in the electric vehicle frontier as a counter-argument.

UAW Members Walk Off Wentzville Assembly, home of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.
UAW Members Walk Off Wentzville Assembly, home of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.

What’s Next

The UAW strike has undoubtedly set the stage for a series of pivotal decisions in the automotive industry. The UAW’s “stand up strike” strategy suggests a calculated approach that could escalate over time, giving the union’s national negotiators more leverage. As the strike continues, the UAW may intensify talks with the Big Three, pushing for their comprehensive list of demands. Given the billions in record profits the Big Three have made in recent years, the UAW is likely to argue that these profits should translate to better employee pay and benefits. As the situation remains fluid, all eyes will be on the UAW’s next moves and how the Big Three respond in the coming days.

GM's Wentzville Assembly, home to the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon
GM’s Wentzville Assembly, home to the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon


Reuters: UAW strike Day 4: GM threatens to send 2,000 workers home, Ford cuts 600 jobs
ClickOnDetroit: Auto supplier warns 290 layoffs possible at 4 Michigan facilities amid UAW strike
Reuters: UAW and automakers GM, Ford and Stellantis try to reach deal before strike widens