September 15th 2019 – iHeart Radio

A national strike in the U.S. could hurt Windsor’s manufacturing industry.

Contract negotiations between General Motors and the United Auto Workers union have broken down and its roughly 49,000 members went on strike just before midnight Sunday. The union’s contract with GM expired Saturday night and union officials say the two sides are far apart on several economic issues.

Flavio Volpe says the strike will have huge implications for manufactures feeding GM on both sides of the border and Windsor-Essex will get hit almost immediately.

“You’re holding some inventory, you’ve got some flexibility on what you make on a single day, but we’re directly linked to what happens on the assembly line so none of us will be taking this lightly,” says the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association President. “General Motors is a very important customer for everybody, especially in Ontario and Michigan, so this isn’t good news.”

But Volpe doesn’t expect the strike to last long.

“We haven’t seen a national strike in the U.S. with the UAW since 2007 I believe, and that strike lasted about a day. There’s a reason these things last a day, if we see a strike that goes beyond a day or two or a week, it’s going to grind everybody who supplies those shop to a halt,” he added.

In a statement Saturday GM says it still hopes for an agreement and continues to work on a solution.

— with files from AM800’s Gord Bacon and Zander Broeckel

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