WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — About 150,000 employees are set to go on strike against the three major auto manufacturers based in Detroit on Friday morning: General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, who owns Chrysler and Jeep.
The strike will occur more than 1,000 miles away but will likely affect car dealerships across South Florida and the Treasure Coast.
Jon Giasullo, who works at Classic Cars of Palm Beach, said the car business has already been struggling due to supply chain shortages and higher interest rates. He said he expects more used car prices to increase because dealerships will try to boost inventory lost with used cars.
"You got a bidding frenzy for every car going through," Giasullo said. "And when prices start to go up, who pays the most is the consumer."
Adrian Bacchus, who owns his own car repair shop called Adrian's Automotive Repair Shop, said he expects the strike will create longer wait times for parts due to production slowdowns. He also said secondary part companies might also raise prices.
Anderson Economic Group, which is a consultant company, estimated that a strike could result in an economic loss worth more than $5 billion after 10 days.
"Time is of the essence," union President Shawn Fain told workers late Thursday in an online address less than two hours before the deadline.
Despite increased offers from Ford and GM, it appears that no deals will be reached before the contracts expire.
Fain said for the first time in the union's 88-year history, the UAW will strike at all three companies at the same time.
About 13,000 workers at the three plants are preparing to walk off the job after contracts with the Detroit Three expire at 11:59 p.m.
Fain has said more walkouts could be scheduled if companies don't move on bargaining.
The union has a list of demands including 36% pay raises over four years, cost of living raises, and an end to different tiers of wages for workers. Ford and GM are offering 20% during the next contract while Stellantis' last known offer was 17.5%.