Economist: UAW strike could start recession

Published: Oct. 5, 2019 at 5:19 AM EDT
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An economist and owner of a Michigan consulting firm is warning that the ongoing General Motors strike could tip the state into a recession.

The United Auto Workers strike began September 16.

Patrick Anderson owns a consulting firm based in East Lansing called Anderson Economic Group.

He says the nearly 50,000 striking workers have lost $400 million in wages, adding that half of those losses are in Michigan.

Anderson says the economic impact of the strike, if it continues, could be severe.

"We estimate that we've already lost about 2% of all of that earned income for the third quarter. In the fourth week, it's going to over 2%, and basically at that time you're moving to a red light flashing about, essentially, a one-state recession for southeastern Michigan," said Anderson.

A top union negotiator says bargainers are making progress on a contract that could end the strike.

United Auto Workers Vice President Terry Dittes says talks have advanced on health care and a path for temporary workers to get full-time jobs, but wages, job security, skilled trades jobs and pensions remain unsettled.

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