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United Auto Workers Strike likely to negatively impact the economy

Three separate unions are currently negotiating with their respective employers in Kokomo. If a strike does happen, economist say it will likely have an impact on the economy.
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Posted at 9:48 PM, Sep 12, 2023

KOKOMO -- Talks of a strike are heating up in the auto industry, as a major one is expected to start on Thursday.

Three separate unions are currently negotiating with their respective employers in Kokomo. If a strike does happen, economist say it will likely have an impact on the economy.

"UAW will be paying them 500 dollars a week in strike pay but that hails in comparison to their usual weekly pay which is going to be anywhere from 1,200-2,000 a week,” Carol Rogers the director of the Indiana Business Center at Indiana University said.

Rogers says the initial impact will be on the local communities where the factories reside, especially since one in five manufacturing workers in Indiana works for an automaker.

"They and their families aren't going to be able to be spending money in the usual ways and on the usual things that they are used to,” Rogers said.

WRTV asked several people if they felt that the strike would negatively impact the economy. Several people we spoke with weren’t aware of the strike. Those that were said they do think it will impact the economy negatively.

"Well I know some of them are not going to work and maybe they aren't going to get paid so possibly yes, " Hilda Henisa an Indianapolis native said.

"They want to go out and really lay down the law and unfortunately this is not the best time to lay down the law when the marketing of automobiles is all over the place right now,” John Francis another Indianapolis native said.

Others that we spoke with say they support the workers fighting for a fair wage.

"People are not getting paid enough and if they feel like they need paid more then they should get paid more," Pebbles Cardona said.

"I think it's going to negatively impact a sector of the economy that sort of needs to be negatively impacted. Those workers need better pay and conditions so there is a reason they are striking," Max Walker an Indianapolis native said.

If the strike happens and there are impacts to production, Rogers says consumers will ultimately pay the price.

"If you have fewer GMS trucks available that means I can't buy them and that means the dealer is going to make commission and mechanics aren't going to have work so it starts rippling," Rogers said.

UAW members will be holding a rally at Foster Park in Kokomo Wednesday, September 13. They will be sharing what they are asking for from their employers