Elon Musk says the UAW's strike demands will drive America's big 3 automakers 'bankrupt'

Elon Musk Tesla
Elon Musk is CEO of Tesla.Getty Images
  • Elon Musk hit out at the United Auto Workers in a post on X on Tuesday.

  • The Tesla CEO said the union's demands would "drive GM, Ford and Chrysler bankrupt".

  • Musk has resisted any attempts by Tesla workers to unionize.

Elon Musk has weighed in on the United Auto Workers strike, claiming the union's demands would bankrupt Detroit's big three automakers.

"They want a 40% pay raise *and* a 32 hour workweek. Sure way to drive GM, Ford and Chrysler bankrupt in the fast lane," he wrote in a post on X Tuesday.


Workers at the three companies went on strike on September 15 in the first simultaneous walkout.

The UAW's demands include higher wages, cost-of-living adjustments, changes to pensions, and a 32-hour working week. It represents almost 150,000 workers.

The industrial action could cost Ford and GM between $100 million and to $125 million in revenue a week, according to analysts at Goldman Sachs.

Shares in Ford are up 4.4% in the past month, however, although GM has dipped by 2.6%. The two companies are worth about $100 billion – a fraction of Tesla's $765 billion market cap.

It's unclear what the UAW strike may mean for Musk's EV maker.

He's strongly objected to any prospect of unionization at Tesla. In February the company fired dozens of employees at its plant in its Buffalo, New York in what the National Labor Relations Board claimed was in retaliation for "union activity and to discourage union activity."

Meanwhile, the UAW is concerned that electric cars, which have fewer parts and need fewer workers to assemble, will lead to big job losses in the industry.

The union has garnered support from some politicians – most notably Joe Biden, whose decision to stand alongside the pickets is thought to be the first time a US president has shown such clear support for industrial action.

Insider's John L. Dorman wrote that the strike presents the most challenging labor crisis of Biden's presidency, as the "economic pitch for his reelection bid could sink or swim depending on the outcome."

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