Autoworkers strike could have impacts felt in Eastern Carolina

Autoworkers strike could have impacts felt in Eastern Carolina
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 5:31 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Everyday drivers could feel the impacts of the United Autoworkers Union strike, where thousands of auto workers went on strike at midnight against the big three companies: Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis. For better wages and other benefits, some fear the effects could be felt here in ENC.

“It will probably impact it for a little bit, but it’ll take a little bit before we actually see it,” said Eric Birmingham, owner of Brim Auto.

An ECU economics professor, Meghan Meillea, says that there are certain factors on the union’s side, such as ongoing inflation rates.

“Our wages are not keeping up with the inflation, and they’re seeing that and saying. Well, we need to do something about it, and we’re looking for some cost-of-living adjustment,” said Meillea.

Along with a low employment rate, meaning it could be harder for the companies to find other workers.

“With the unemployment rate relatively low from an employer’s perspective, they’re thinking well. We can’t really go out into the market and find anyone else,” said Meillea.

With the car industry still shaky from the pandemic, the current strike may only add to the problem.

“Probably what’s going to happen is you’re going to see higher your wholesale prices, which will obviously affect higher sale prices out here on the lots,” said Birmingham.

With no end in sight, with only 9% of workers on strike now, the union said more could join if demands are not met.

The president of the United Auto Workers Join also said there will be no negotiations today since they will be joining the workers at the picket lines.

The union has also expressed concern with the dealerships investing billions of dollars into electric cars, which would also cost them jobs in the future.