Brace for the long haul.
Because this fight—the one the United Auto Workers union has taken up against General Motors, Ford and Stellantis—looks as though it won't conclude anytime soon.
"We have a pessimistic view of this being resolved in the short term," Mark Barrott, a partner with Plante Moran, said during a webinar hosted Sept. 19 by the Association for Rubber Products Manufacturers and the Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors. "… We have—at least in the early stages—a strike, which is impacting severely those that are involved but is missing quite a bit of the industry."
That could—and likely will—change.
In fact, if Barrott had to guess, he'd say that this battle is just beginning. It has all the makings of a months-long, continually escalating strike that surely will have cascading impacts on North American auto industry suppliers.
"The industry, while worried and concerned … is surviving this week," Barrott added. "Maybe next week will be a different case. And I think that is part of the issue here; this is going to evolve on a weekly basis.
"I think there is going to be a weekly cadence to this strike, where, at the end of the week, if serious progress is not being made in the negotiations, there will be an escalation."