Poll: 60 percent of auto parts suppliers expect layoffs if strike extends

Oct. 5, 2023
The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association poll respondents said layoffs could come by mid-October; 30 percent have already laid off workers.
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By Karen Hanna

An industry association poll reveals parts suppliers are starting to feel significant pain from the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike.

In a poll of its members, the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) found about 60 percent of suppliers expect to lay off workers by mid-October if the strike continues. Already, 30 percent of suppliers have laid off employees due to the strike, according to an Oct. 3 press release.

Since announcing targeted walkouts of select Stellantis, Ford and General Motors (GM) plants on Sept. 15, the UAW has on each subsequent Friday expanded its strike to hit more plants. In a UAW press release dated Sept. 22, before the latest expansion, the UAW indicated around 18,600 workers were on strike.

According to MEMA, vehicle suppliers employ over 900,000 workers and contribute 2.5 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product.

Kelly Goodsel, CEO and president of Viking Plastics, Corry, Pa., told Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing on Sept. 29 he thinks many suppliers won’t be able to able to weather a long strike.

“There are going to be suppliers — small, medium, and large suppliers — that if this isn't resolved, in the next, call it four to six weeks, that by the end of the year, they’'re going to be out of business,” said Goodsel, who warned the strike could have lingering impacts on the automotive supply chain.

According to MEMA’s survey, more than 50 percent of idled suppliers said they would need at least a week to ramp up production to return to pre-strike levels once the strike ends. The association said it is working with the White House to develop a plan to support smaller suppliers making less than $200 million in revenue. 

Karen Hanna, senior staff reporter

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About the Author

Karen Hanna | Senior Staff Reporter

Senior Staff Reporter Karen Hanna covers injection molding, molds and tooling, processors, workforce and other topics, and writes features including In Other Words and Problem Solved for Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing, Plastics Recycling and The Journal of Blow Molding. She has more than 15 years of experience in daily and magazine journalism.