The United Auto Workers union went on strike for the first time at all the Detroit “Big Three” carmakers early this morning, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).
What’s going on: “UAW officials initiated the walkout after failing to clinch new labor deals with General Motors, Ford Motor and Jeep-maker Stellantis for about 146,000 U.S. factory workers. Bargaining went late into the night, but the two sides remained too far apart to avoid a walkout at the 11:59 p.m. ET deadline.”
- Workers at a Ford Bronco plant in Detroit, a GM pickup-truck factory in Missouri and a Stellantis Jeep plant in Ohio were told to leave their posts.
- The three targeted facilities make some of the firms’ most popular vehicles.
Why it’s important: Automotive manufacturing in the U.S. is among the most productive industries in the world, underpinning the American economy as a whole.
- In fact, a strike of 143,000 UAW members against GM, Ford and Stellantis could lead to an economic loss of $5.617 billion after just 10 full days, according to a recent report by Anderson Economic Group.
- In 2019, a 42-day strike at one of the three vehicle manufacturers put the state of Michigan into a quarter-long recession and resulted in an economic loss of $4.2 billion, according to The Detroit News.
Our response: “The impact of this strike will echo far beyond the city of Detroit, as multiple economic analyses have demonstrated,” NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said this morning. “The small and medium-sized manufacturers across the country that make up the automotive sector’s integrated supply chain will feel the brunt of this work stoppage, whether they are a union shop or not.”
- “American families are already feeling economic pressures from near-record-high inflation, and this will only inflict more pain. We urge a swift resolution to end this strike and avoid further undermining the strength of our industry and harming our broader economy.”
Manufacturing businesses have long been proponents of equality in the workplace. As legislation to codify protections for LGBT individuals passes through the House of Representatives, the National Association of Manufacturers joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, and other members of the business community in advocating its passage, forging coalitions and providing congressional testimony.
Introduced with bipartisan support in the U.S. House and Senate in March, the Equality Act includes federal protections for individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity under the existing framework of the Civil Rights Act, which already provides protection against discrimination on the basis of religion, national origin, race, color or sex. The goal of the legislation is to ensure that no person can face legal discrimination based on their gender or sexual orientation, setting a clear federal standard to enable individuals to succeed based on their abilities and qualifications to perform a job.
“Employers understand the importance of creating an environment in which the very best people can succeed based on merit,” Patrick Hedren, NAM vice president, labor, legal and regulatory policy, said. “At the same time, manufacturers know that discrimination in any form is antithetical to the values that we work to uphold every day: equality of opportunity, individual liberty, free enterprise and competitiveness.”
In March, more than 40 other industry associations rallied to support the Equality Act, providing an important boost for the groundbreaking legislation. In the weeks since, manufacturing representatives have testified before the House Education and Labor Committee and signed a coalition letter to the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services calling for the Act’s passage. As Congress considers the way forward, manufacturers have made clear that they intend to advocate forcefully on behalf of the legislation and uphold their commitment to workers of every gender identity and sexual orientation.
“The Equality Act creates a clear federal standard that matches the sentiments manufacturers already share: gender identity and sexual orientation have no impact on an employee’s abilities and discrimination is not welcome on the manufacturing floor,” Hedren said. “We look forward to working with Congress as this important legislation moves ahead.”
Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement after the Department of Labor (DOL) rescinded the 2016 Persuader Rule:
Manufacturers have fought for this victory for many years in the courts, in Congress and with two administrations, using the full weight of our policy, government relations and legal teams, said Timmons. The NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action was able to halt the rule in court in 2016.And in 2017, the Trump administration, as part of its broader regulatory relief agenda, thankfully began the process of unwinding the rule. This overreaching rule threatened to impose serious burdens on manufacturers and upend employee–employer communications. Now manufacturers are relieved that this threat to workplace communications is finally and officially off the books. Commonsense steps like this to rein in onerous regulations are a major reason why manufacturers are reporting record-high business optimism.
The Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA) is the leading voice of manufacturers in the courts and engages in a range of activities, including direct party litigation and operating a robust amicus program, as well as educating manufacturers about emerging legal trends. The MCLA is led by NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly and NAM Vice President of Litigation and Deputy General Counsel Peter Tolsdorf. More information on the MCLA can be found here.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.