Suppliers are asking the federal government to quickly provide aid to smaller parts makers that are facing major financial trouble as the UAW strike begins to extend to a third week.
"The supply chain, particularly smaller suppliers, came into this strike in a very, very fragile position," said Ann Wilson, senior vice president of government affairs at Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), which represents more than 1,000 automotive companies at multiple tiers. "We need to make sure that we provide them with the resources necessary to both make it through to the other side of the strike and ramp up, but also make the transition to zero-emission vehicles."
Wilson told sister publication Automotive News that about 75 percent of the organization's members indicate they will be forced to lay off employees if the strike lasts for one month, which would be mid-October.
On Sept. 25, the group sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging the administration to provide federal assistance to help suppliers stay afloat amid the UAW strike, to help them ramp back up once it ends and make the investments necessary to transition to electric vehicle-related production.
The organization asked the White House to provide loans to suppliers with annual revenue of less than $200 million, in addition to setting up an emergency work force training program that would allow workers to stay on the job even if production is stopped.