NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The United Auto Workers stand up strike is impacting General Motors plants and customers in Middle Tennessee.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden traveled to Detroit, Michigan, showing his solidarity with members of the United Auto Workers Union who want better wages, benefits, and job security. The strike is also impacting those locally working in the auto industry who don’t work for those companies, but are more hands on with making the repairs.
On Friday, members of the United Auto Worker Union walked out of all 38 parts distribution centers operated by General Motors and Jeep and Ram owner, Stellantis, in 20 states. It’s an expansion of an on-going strike that is having a ripple effect down to those who are hands-on and making the repairs.
“It affects their checks and affects my men’s checks. It affects your car if you wreck it,” said John Blanks, the co-owner of Paint and Body Perfectors on Nolensville Road.
This most recent strike isn’t focused as much on production; it focuses on centers that distribute parts, which means those who need their car fixed are now part of a growing waitlist for repairs. For some auto shop workers, these issues feel similar to those that plagued body shops during the height of the pandemic.
Now, when customers come in for an estimate, parts that usually would’ve taken two to three days to arrive have no definite arrival date.
“I’ll let them know I’m going to check on parts and find out what the availability is,” said Blanks. “But it’s not something we can make. It’s not a part that we have. It’s something we order.”
Until more progress is made with the strike, many are left to sit and wait. It’s a frustrating turn of events for those working to get the keys to fixed cars back into the hands of owners.
“Until I have parts, I can’t fix [the cars],” said Blanks. “It’s sad. It hurts.”