Supply chain expert talks about Arizona impact following UAW strike

Thousands of autoworkers are on strike and an ASU professor explains the impact it'll have on Arizona.
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 9:52 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — As hundreds of thousands of United Auto Workers walked off the job site in Detroit on Thursday night Arizona time, local experts are already preparing for the worldwide impact. “There will be an impact in Arizona,” said ASU logistics and supply chain professor Dale Rogers. He is keeping a close eye on the current strike happening. “If all of a sudden they stop production, it happened during the pandemic, we saw this sort of wave go through upstream in the supply chain. It can be a big deal,” said Rogers.

For Arizona, Rogers said the state will be impacted in multiple ways. One way is a delay in car shipments from the big automakers, meaning if you had your eye on a certain car from Ford, GM, or Stellantis, it might come later than expected. The biggest impact, Rogers said, for people in Arizona will be for the businesses that supply these big automakers. “We’ve got lots of companies that sell into the automobile industry, lots of them,” he said.

The biggest local industry, Rogers said, is Arizona’s semiconductor plants. He said they took a big hit during the COVID-19 pandemic and he expects something similar during the strike. “The minute there is a hiccup with stuff that they are shipping, (the automakers) cancel all their orders; they did that with semiconductors and it really cost them a lot,” he said.

Rogers said he doesn’t expect this strike to last long, especially with an election year coming up. In his experience, he said it can be common for politicians to step in and be a part of the negotiation talks.

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