IMAGE: GM generic

A strike could be looming for United Auto Workers Union members if contract negotiations don't come to a positive conclusion in the next 30 hours or so.

National contracts with Ford and Chrysler were extended today but UAW's pact with General Motors is still set to expire Saturday night.

And if a deal isn't reached, a potential strike could occur at several GM operated plants across the U.S.

"A strike would be devastating," said Tim Nash, economist and director of the MacNair Center at Northwood University.

Nash said the last thing both organizations would want to do is fail to reach an agreement because of the change in today's market toward automobile sales.

"The shift that's taking place is, fewer automobiles being purchased, and more trucks, SUVs,” Nash said. “And as you look at that particular market change, General Motors has to retool and reassemble as quickly as possible."

Nash said it's because of that change, that GM may lower the capacity of a plant or move job production to another site.

He believes that a compromise is needed on both sides in the matter.

"That's something that the UAW is going to have to continue to live with as the market demand changes. But simultaneously, what general motors knows, is that it is very difficult in today's market to get qualified workers."

However, Nash believes that both parties will either reach a deal, or extend their contract negotiations.

"I really believe that before the end of the day, or the end of the 24 hour day on Saturday, we'll have some kind of agreement," he said.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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