Warren, Michigan is a place where businesses need to rely on the United Auto Workers (UAW) union due to its proximity to an auto factory. The Motor City Sports Bar & Grill is no exception. Owner David Nuculaj recognizes that about 85% of his customers are auto workers who come to his establishment to unwind after work. Although he remains optimistic that a strike will not occur, Nuculaj has experienced the impacts of previous strikes and is not too worried if it happens again.
However, the potential strike has industries across Michigan on edge. The Anderson Economic Group estimates that just 10 days of a strike could result in a $5 billion loss to the US economy, with $859 million in wage losses. Justin Winslow, president and CEO of the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association, explains that the restaurant industry would be acutely affected if disposable income declines. There were temporary layoffs in the industry during the 2019 UAW strike against General Motors, and members are now preparing for potential similar circumstances.
Conversely, George Glassman of Glassman Automotive Group hopes that a strike can be avoided, but recognizes that if production slows for the Big Three automakers, his business could experience increased traffic. Since Glassman mostly sells non-domestic cars, customers may seek out his dealership if there is a shortage of vehicles. However, he believes that a strike would not be productive for either side.
As the son of a 20-year UAW member and with his bar full of union members, Nuculaj stands in solidarity with the workers regardless of the outcome. He recalls how his bar supported the striking workers during the General Motors strike by providing them with food. However, like many others, he still hopes that an agreement can be reached through negotiation before the deadline. Only time will tell the outcome of the talks.