Unions are more visible and vocal than they've been in decades. If the labor market remains tight, they'll have negotiating leverage.
The UAW fought for protection if factories shut down. But workers in other carbon-intensive industries could find themselves displaced.
The union is making a bet that inconvenienced drivers will side with them – which would put pressure on the Big Three car companies to make a deal.
They're usually cheaper than permanent employees, but they can reduce productivity.
The practice dates back to the federal bailout in the 2000s.
Solid Inventory is keeping some worries away for now. But a prolonged strike could hurt the industry, one expert says.
So far, the UAW is holding a limited strike at three plants across three states.
The United Auto Workers may focus its actions on specific plants, instead of organizing a broad work stoppage, if contract negotiations fail.
Contracts with Ford, GM and Stellantis all end at the end of Thursday, and the president of the United Auto Workers union has made clear that members are prepared to strike.
It may be a strategy to cope with the electric vehicle transition.