UAW’s strike against GM sidelines 12,000 auto supplier workers, says trade group

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Adriane Hall, a United Auto Workers member of 12 years, screams as vehicles drive by honking in support of autoworkers in Flint, Mich. on Sept. 16th, 2019. The Flint Assembly employees are among the roughly 48,000 General Motors workers who have been on strike and picketing since Monday.

Michael Wayland | CNBC

DETROIT – The fallout from the United Auto Workers’ strike against General Motors continues to grow as the work stoppage carries into its third week.

The Original Equipment Suppliers Association, a trade group for auto suppliers, more than 100 of GM’s suppliers have enacted “some form of temporary layoffs” of up to 12,000 U.S. salaried and hourly employees.

About 48,000 UAW members have been picketing outside GM’s U.S. facilities since Sept. 16. The work stoppage has rippled throughout the automaker’s North American operations, causing thousands of additional layoffs. It also has contributed to a double-digit decline in GM shares during the past three weeks.

GM shares were down more than 2% midday Tuesday to less than $34. The stock is down more than 12% since Sept.13, the last Friday before the strike began.

The furloughed workers at GM’s U.S. suppliers don’t include the thousands of workers at its Canadian and Mexican auto parts suppliers who’ve temporarily lost their jobs or the company’s more than 10,000 non-UAW employees that have been temporarily laid off in North America.

The Original Equipment Suppliers Association didn’t say which suppliers have been most impacted.

Several auto suppliers such as Magna International, an Ontario-based supplier for several components to GM, and Nexteer Automotive, which makes steering components, have confirmed temporary layoffs, while others said they would continue to monitor the strike, which is now in its 23rd day.

Citigroup, in a note to investors at the beginning of the strike, mentioned Magna as well as American Axle & Manufacturing, Lear and Aptiv as being suppliers that would be most affected by the strike. Representatives for the companies did not immediately respond or declined to comment.

Of those companies, shares of American Axle have been impacted the most, down more than 22% since the last day of trading before the strike. Shares of Lear, a major seating supplier to GM, are down about 15% during that time, followed by a 10% decline for Aptiv. Shares of Magna are down about 8%.

Julie A. Fream, president and CEO of the Original Equipment Supplier Association, said the organization is particularly concerned with companies potentially losing skilled workers.

“Given the low U.S. unemployment rates and shortage of skilled trades workers, companies may be challenged to ensure laid-off employees return to their previous positions,” she said in an emailed statement. “Upon conclusion of the strike, this could cause extended disruption in the supply chain as suppliers ramp up their production.”

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