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Local auto body shops feel impacts from UAW strike

With thousands of United Auto Workers on strike, that means fewer parts being made. We are two weeks into the UAW strike and local auto repair shops say they can already feel the impacts.
Posted at 9:25 AM, Oct 02, 2023

MILWAUKEE — With thousands of United Auto Workers on strike, that means fewer parts being made.

We are two weeks into the UAW strike and local auto repair shops say they can already feel the impacts.

"We can't get anything right now." Owner of Tender Car Collision, Jon Petrie explains.

Petrie says the pandemic had a big impact on car parts. However, the UAW strike is causing even more delays. "If it's GM or domestic, it's experiencing worse delays than we already had."

He says cars will just sit at his auto repair shops for days, weeks, and even months without the supplies needed.

"One day to get a lot of parts in Chicago that are needed all the time regularly ordered and used parts. One day. So when the strike started it turned into a week and now as of today it turned into two weeks or more,” Petrie says.

Petrie says the impact trickles down to the customers when his suppliers of General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis parts can't get inventory. "Uh, what do you tell the customer who's paying for a rented vehicle? How do you explain that? They are upset and I would be too.”

About two miles south of Petrie’s shop is Pro Comp Auto Body and they have to turn some customers away.

"Some I can't even take in yet because I don't want to have them sitting around," the owner of Pro Comp Auto Body, Mark Amrozewicz, says.

He says all parts are impacted, "Any type of body part, sheet metal, suspension, anything, decals, everything is waiting.”

Luckily, he tells me his supplier stocked up.

"My General Motors supplier went out and bought a few million dollars worth of parts extra that they don't normally have just so they could be prepared."

Both owners are hoping that some agreements are made at the negotiation table.