Writers, UAW, UPS strikes: Impact on economy

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The Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike continues after over four months of protests against production studios. Meanwhile, the United Auto Workers (UAW) are on the sixth day of their strike against the Big Three automakers: Ford (F), General Motors (GM), and Stellantis (STLA). Earlier this summer, United Parcel Service (UPS) and the Teamsters union were able to reach an agreement and avoid a prolonged strike. Yahoo Finance spoke to experts across the industry to discuss the summer of strikes and the potential impact on the economy.

Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Rick Newman broke down the recent rise in work stoppages. Newman was not concerned about the economic impact. He said, "Economists are now saying, how much damage is this actually going to cause to the broader U.S. economy? And the answer is hardly any."

Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations Senior Economic Advisor Erica Groshen discussed the UAW strike and what it could mean for labor conditions. Groshen said, "We certainly have a very strong labor market, a very strong economy, and strike activity usually rises when the economy and the labor market is strong."

Axios Business Reporter Nathan Bomey revealed his concerns over EV production amid the rise in strikes across the country. Bomey stated, "I think their long-term concern for the automakers is that they come out of this with higher labor costs which makes it more difficult to make EVs at a price point which people can afford."

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Neil Bradley broke down what he referred to as "the summer of strikes." Bradley said, "You have these unrealistic, almost excessive demands on the part of union leadership across a whole host of industry that could ultimately be destabilizing for the entire economy."

Milken Institute Chief Global Strategist Kevin Klowden discussed the effect of the Hollywood strikes on major studios like Disney (DIS), Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD), Netflix (NFLX), and Amazon (AMZN). Klowden said, "When we talk about lost wages, we're really not just talking about the salaries and impact that people are feeling in Hollywood itself but in a number of different places where filming actually takes place.

The Hollywood Reporter Media & Business Writer Alex Weprin detailed the content crisis Warner Bros. Discovery and other major studios are facing amid the writers and actors' strikes. Weprin said, "In the short term, they're going to have all this extra cash ... but in the long term they do need new scripted TV shows and movies in order to conduct their daily business.

MNTN CEO Mark Douglas broke down the major issues between writers and Hollywood studios, including streaming and AI. Douglas explained, "I think these studios need to meet consumers where they are, bring the content, consumers will bring the dollars, and we can go forward with everyone entertained."

David Madland, Center for American Progress Senior Fellow and Senior Adviser at the American Worker Project, discussed the resurgence behind strikes and labor unions, as well as the impact on the U.S. economy. Madland said, "In the short run, a strike is not good for anyone, the workers, the writers lose clearly for a long period of time that they don't get an income."

Art Wheaton, Director of Labor Relations at Cornell University ILR School, explained the motivating factors behind the recent workers strikes. Wheaton said, "Everybody is looking at the bargaining table as a way to make up for all of the costs and the increased cost of living." Wheaton added, "Currently we have a more union-friendly President and that means the labor law tends to be a little more friendly toward the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board)."

Video highlights:

00:00:03 - Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Rick Newman

00:00:27 - Erica Groshen, Cornell University

00:00:40 - Axios Business Reporter Nathan Bomey

00:00:58 - U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Neil Bradley

00:01:15 - Milken Institute Chief Global Strategist Kevin Klowden

00:01:31 - The Hollywood Reporter Media & Business Writer Alex Weprin

00:01:49 - MNTN CEO Mark Douglas

00:02:03 -  American Worker Project Senior Adviser David Madland

00:02:21 - Art Wheaton, Cornell University ILR School