U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Sept. 13, 2023
This Coalition letter was sent to President Biden on ongoing labor negotiations between the United Auto Workers and the Detroit Three (General Motors, Stellantis, and Ford Motor Company). The Detroit Regional Chamber is among signatories.
Dear Mr. President:
The undersigned organizations are concerned by the growing possibility of a strike by the United Auto Workers (UAW) in their negotiations for a new labor contract with General Motors, Stellantis, and Ford Motor Company (Detroit Three). A UAW strike would impose significant hardship on American families and the economy so we, therefore, urge you and your Administration to provide the support necessary to help the parties reach a new agreement by the September 14 deadline.
The Detroit Three are critical to our economy. They produced 4.8 million vehicles in the U.S. in 2022, alongside 3.5 million engines, and 5.6 million transmissions. A 2020 report shows that the Detroit Three are supported by 238,000 employees at 260 assembly plants, manufacturing facilities, research labs, distribution centers, and other facilities across 31 states. They work with nearly 9,700 dealerships, which employ nearly 660,000 U.S. workers. Additionally, every vehicle that rolls off the assembly line of a Detroit Three automaker contains anywhere from 8,000 to 12,000 different components manufactured by over 5,600 U.S. suppliers. Over 690,000 supplier jobs are estimated to be tied to the Detroit Three, which accounts for anywhere from 20% to 70% of their business. This means a strike will quickly impact large segments of the economy, leading to layoffs and potentially even bankruptcies of U.S. businesses. While UAW’s 40-day strike on General Motors in 2019 forced suppliers to temporarily lay off approximately 75,000 workers, every indication is that a strike today would be significantly more severe for many businesses. Indeed, one analysis estimates a 10-day UAW strike could result in economic losses of more than $5 billion.
No one should want a strike. The Administration has already employed its formal and informal convening power in the past year to help parties reach agreements in the freight railroad, West Coast port terminal, and UPS-Teamster contract negotiations. We urge you to lend similar help here and work with the parties to help reach an agreement by September 14.