LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The UAW has given a strike notice to the Fiat Chrysler car company which has raised some early concerns at the State Capitol as a protracted strike could damage state services and the economy.
Democratic Budget vice-chairman Rep. Harvey Santan’s first reaction was “I have not heard of a strike at this level for a very long time.”
Rep. Santana is right. That last UAW strike against GM was in 1998 and the 54-day walkout had a huge impact on the state economy.
IMPACT OF 1998 STRIKE
(1) GM lost market share
(2) Layoffs Auto Suppliers
(3) GDP Dropped 1%
(4) Family Income Dropped
The chair of the House Budget committee is not overly concerned right now, but Rep. Al Pscholka knows a protracted strike will produce state service cuts in schools and elsewhere. “Yeah, that’s not good and that hits the general fund and it hits the confidence in the state economy,” said Rep. Pscholka. “All those things, yeah, have an impact on state finances.”
“Of course, when a Michigander is not working they’re not making money,” adds Rep.Santan. “If they’re going to have to go on some kind of government assistance, yeah, it’s going to have an impact.”
No one is predicting a strike but the UAW contract with Fiat Chrysler expires at midnight tonight.
The governor’s budget director’s concern is where? “It’s still minimal but if a strike becomes more real, we would revist then,” says John Roberts. He agrees a long strike would have a huge impact statewide “absolutely and if something like that were to happen we’d have to look at it but we’re optimistic they’ll reach an agreement.”
Suffice it say lots of folks in this town are hoping the same thing.