UAW Strike inflicts nearly $4 billion in losses, analysis shows

The economic damage from the ongoing autoworkers union strike is coming into focus with an assessment of the first two weeks of picketing leading to billions of dollars in losses.

According to East Lansing-based firm Anderson Economic Group, the UAW's "Stand Up" Strike has cost $3.95 billion, including more than a billion in losses for the Detroit Big Three.

The UAW strike has stretched into its third week, with 25,000 workers having walked off the job since Sept. 21.

In an analysis of the strike's fiscal impacts, AEG said the second week was costlier than the first week after suppliers in 20 states stopped operating after being called on by the UAW president. 

"Suppliers were particularly hard-hit by the UAW’s strategy of announcing specific plants to be struck just hours before they were shut down," said AEG CEO Patrick Anderson. "The shutdown of 38 parts distributions centers also crimped dealership service operations and, of course, caused more UAW workers to lose wages."

The strikes at parts distribution buildings wounded many of the companies that are tangentially connected to the auto industry. Anderson said that meant dealerships, customers, and other suppliers building parts for a vehicle that can't be assembled. 

UAW strike update: 25K union members walking picket lines after strike expands to more GM, Ford plants

As the effects ripple further, hitting not just the manufacturer but consumers is when Americans' support for the strike could diminish, Anderson said.

The firm also predicted even costlier measures against Ford after it was spared in the first round of additional strikes before being targeted at its Chicago Assembly plant last week. 

Here's how the costs break down:

  • $325 million in lost wages
  • $1.12 billion in Ford, GM, and Stellantis losses
  • $1.29 billion in supplier losses
  • $1.12 billion in dealer and customer losses

Read more UAW strike coverage here