General Motors strike could have local impact

WEST PLAINS, Mo. -- Roughly 49,000 United Auto Workers union members at General Motors plants in the U.S., including here in Missouri, will strike beginning at midnight, after the union let its four year contract with GM expire Saturday night.

The impact of an auto strike could trickle-down to local dealerships here in the Ozarks.

“There are some launch products, that are some fantastic products in the mix and I know that probably plays in to the strike-timing a lot of times," Mike Guffey explained.

Mike Guffey, owner at Brad Guffey Chevrolet in West Plains, says the potential strike is happening at a time when 2019 cars are on the way out and when new ones are arriving.

"It's kind of in the middle of our new launch of HD pickups and the Silverado and the Sierra GMC lines. The new Corvette is just starting out now as well," Guffey said.

Representatives for the United Auto Workers Union say the two are far apart on issues such as wages, health care, temporary employees, job security and profit-sharing.

The strike would be the nation's first auto strike in a dozen years.

Despite lower inventory right now, Guffey says finished cars should be arriving.

"Inventory is a little low. It's ten percent lower than last year but we've got a pipeline that's still full and I do expect to go ahead and get these vehicles that are already built," he added.

If workers strike, experts say it would mean fewer vehicles for you to choose from at your local dealership.

It would also make it impossible to do build specially ordered cars and trucks.

"It's a good time to come get a good buy, Guffey exclaimed. There might be more to choose from right now. We're hoping for the best. We're hoping not to be a long-term issue."

Union leaders did extend contracts with Ford and Fiat Chrysler indefinitely on Friday.