UAW Strike Cost Michigan $18.5 Million In Lost Income Taxes, Wages

The economic and personal cost of the auto worker strike against General Motors is still being realized, but estimates range from million in taxes and wages to billion in profit for the carmaker.

The month-long United Auto Workers strike against General Motors has taken a big economic and personal toll in Michigan and elsewhere.

The strike could soon come to an end, with the union and the automaker recently reaching a tentative contract agreement. Now, all eyes are on the UAW membership and whether it will ratify a new contract. 

In the meantime, workers are still on the picket line and we all continue to feel the effects.

Click on the player above to hear MichMash speak with WKAR reporter Abigail Censky on how the strike impacts state and local economies.

“Companies here like Ryder, who help supply for GM, they have 40, 50 trailers of things sitting outside of their completely-full warehouses, where their businesses are still ongoing but GM is their main client, so they have a lot of surplus,” says Abigail Censky, a reporter with WKAR public radio in Lansing who has been covering the impacts of the UAW strike.

“The state of Michigan, by some estimates, has lost almost $18.5 million in income tax revenue and wages alone,” she continues. “And nationally, strikers have lost wages of $835 million. So, that’s a lot of money that has been taken out of our local economy here, and people aren’t spending at the movie theater or restaurants, and they are still going to be living in kind of strike-mode for the next few months. Think about if you just a paycheck, you wouldn’t be able to bounce right back.”

Here are some other economic impacts of the strike:


  • Cheyna Roth
    Cheyna has interned with Michigan Radio and freelanced for WKAR public radio in Lansing. She's also done some online freelancing and worked on documentary films.
  • Jake Neher
    Jake Neher is senior producer for Detroit Today and host of MichMash for 101.9 WDET. He previously reported on the Michigan Legislature for the Michigan Public Radio Network.