LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – As the UAW strike rolls into a fourth week, a supply chain expert says the UAW stand-up strike strategy is causing headaches for the automakers.
“When you go play cards and you know the betting habits of the person across from you, you can anticipate his moves,” says MSU Professor Steven Melnyk. He teaches supply chain management at the Broad College of Business. “What happens when you are playing with someone who signals one thing but does a completely different action?”
He says the showdown between the union and car makers is like a card game. But the new stand-up strategy by the UAW has left the Big Three automakers at a loss as to what facility or plant will walk off the line next.
UAW President Shawn Fain’s decision to announce a new set of strikes each week has kept the manufacturers from retooling and reconfiguring other plants to pick up the slack, he says.
And as the contract talks drag on, Melnyk says it will get harder for the automakers to catch up.
“The longer you delay, the wider the strike, the longer you delay, more the cost is going to be for you to restart the system,” he tells 6 News.
As more lines grind to a halt, the impact will ripple further into the parts business.
“That supplier not only pays wages, but the people who work in the company, they buy things. They go to restaurants, etc.,” he says.
The 2019 strike by the UAW lasted 40 days, Melnyk says. As this strike approaches that milestone, the closer the two sides should be in hammering out a deal.