Melissa Atkins Discusses a Potential UAW Strike on CNBC
Obermayer labor and employment partner Melissa Atkins was quoted on CNBC on August 22, 2023, in connection with the UAW labor talks that could cost the automakers billions of dollars in additional labor costs, work stoppages, or, in a worst-case scenario, both.
The new UAW leadership team has dubbed these talks the union’s “defining moment” and has hinted at the likelihood of worker strikes.
“They’re ready to strike if a deal does not happen,” said Melissa Atkins. “Going in with that mindset, I anticipate it being very contentious … and just given the history, there probably will be a strike.”
The demands include a 46% wage increase, restoration of traditional pensions, cost-of-living increases, reducing the workweek to 32 hours from 40, and increasing retiree benefits.
If the UAW gets those demands, without any changes to other benefits, the all-in hourly labor cost for the automakers would more than double from at least $64 per hour to more than $150 per hour, according to media reports.
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