The United Auto Workers strike against the Detroit 3 automakers is showing no signs of ending. That means plastics companies supplying auto parts remain in something of a business limbo.
There have been temporary layoffs at supplier plants — including a Flex-N-Gate site in Illinois and an NYX plant in Indiana — and the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association said the number of its member companies that have had to lay off workers could grow from 39 percent as of Oct. 13 to 70 percent by the end of the month.
But the total impact can't be measured yet.
"Estimating the effect on plastics … is not straightforward due to the uncertainty of the strike's end date and the extent to which the strike affects the automobile industry's supply chain," the Plastics Industry Association noted in an Oct. 20 blog post. "Industry stakeholders must remain vigilant, adapt as needed and work collaboratively to navigate the ever-changing landscape shaped by labor, production and economic considerations."
The last UAW strike — a 39-day work stoppage against GM — led to a 6.5 percent decrease in the production of cars and car parts. The Industrial Production Index of plastics and rubber products manufacturing saw about a 1 percent drop in plastics and rubber processing, the association noted.