Costs of a Strike

There’s a lot of discussion about the costs of the UAW’s strike against GM.  The Wall Street Journal is an example:

Economists say the cascading effect of lost wages, production, and employment will likely linger even if the strike ends….


…suspended work at another two dozen company-owned parts warehouses and distribution centers and led to temporary layoffs of nearly 10,000 GM factory workers not represented by the UAW….


Striking GM workers also are pulling back on spending, having now lost a month’s worth of company paychecks. Many are trying to get by on $275 a week, the strike pay offered by the UAW to provide some financial assistance. That figure is a fraction of their regular pay, which ranges from $630 to $1,200 for a 40-hour week.


120 of GM’s direct suppliers furloughed some 17,000 workers in the US during the strike….

And the damage from the UAW’s action has spread even farther, as this example illustrates:

Sam Kassab, 65, owns the Chene Trombly market where he sells food and liquor close to GM’s Detroit assembly plant. The strike is costing him between 10% to 15% of his usual business, Mr Kassab said, with most of that caused by layoffs at the supplier factories nearby.

No one, though, is talking about the cost of the strike to the union—not the workers, but the UAW itself.  Who, or what, is propping up the UAW, covering its costs, as it prosecutes it blockage of GM’s ability to function at all unless the union gets its way (with all the resulting collateral damage to suppliers, about which the UAW so plainly cares not a whit)?

And another discussion not being held: how will the UAW make whole those collaterally damaged suppliers and their workers?

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