The United Auto Workers' strike against the Big Three automakers could have an impact on the national economy and further into the automotive industry.
At this point, it is hard to say how far-reaching the implications will be as the UAW is striking against the automotive companies known as the "Detroit Three." This includes General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, which owns the Jeep, Ram, Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat brands.
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The UAW, which went on strike on Sept. 15, says around 13,000 members are walking the picket lines.
The Detroit Three does not include Nissan or Toyota, which have manufacturing plants in Mississippi.
Nissan has run a production facility in Canton for more than 20 years while Toyota plant in Blue Springs near Tupelo has been in operation since 2011.
While there has been some speculation that the strike could impact other automakers from a supply chain standpoint, Nissan says it doesn't expect any issues where Mississippi is concerned.
"Currently, we do not anticipate any operational impacts from the strike but continue to monitor the situation," said Lloryn Love-Carter, Director of U.S. Communications of the Nissan Group of the Americas, when asked by the Clarion Ledger about the Canton Nissan plant.
One publication suggested that if there were a supply-chain issue, it likely would not occur immediately.
Considering that automakers have already been through many years of shortages coming out of the COVID-19 supply-chain setbacks, experts believe suppliers will not be quick to react to the UAW strike.
Neither the Blue Springs Toyota plant nor the Canton Nissan plant are unionized despite a strong push from the UAW in 2017.
Back then, the voting by 3,700 assembly and maintenance workers via secret ballots shot down the attempts by the UAW to unionize the workforce.
On one side were workers who say they need a union to give them a voice in their workplace, to protect against arbitrary treatment, and to bargain for better benefits and pay.
Other Nissan employees reject the idea of a union speaking for them. They fear the UAW would be an economic albatross, burdening an employer who pays them well.
The current battle
In the current debate of the Detroit Three, the UAW revealed a list including the following demands on Aug. 1:
◾ Eliminating wage tiers.
◾ A 40% wage increase over the life of the contract. The 40% signifies the increase in CEO salaries.
◾ Restoring the cost-of-living allowance adjustments to counteract inflation.
◾ Defined benefit pension for all workers.
◾ The right to strike over plant closures.
◾ A reduced work week and more paid time off.
◾ Limiting the use of temporary workers.
◾ Increased benefits to current retirees.
Ross Reily can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or 601-573-2952. You can follow him on Twitter @GreenOkra1.
This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: UAW strike impact on Mississippi auto makers