This is from truthdig. Ford seems to be doing the best of the big three. It now has settled with the CAW in Canada. Autoworkers don't seem to be in a very strong position with auto sale down and most companies in loss positions. However, as the article notes the present strike puts quite a bit of pressure on GM to settle or be in an even worse position.
Malibu plant strike adds to GM woes
Popular models hit by walkouts
By Katie Merx, Business WriterDetroit Free Press May 6, 2008A strike was launched Monday by the UAW at a General Motors Corp.manufacturing plant in Kansas that makes the new Chevrolet Malibu.This walkout, coupled with a continuing strike at its Lansing Delta Townshipcrossover assembly plant, could drain the automaker's inventory of itsfastest-selling car and crossovers in as little as a month.Industry experts say the work stoppages put the union in a position ofpower.The UAW, negotiating local contracts at both plants, is hitting GM at two ofits most important North America plants in a move that some say is meant topress GM to facilitate resolution of the American Axle & Manufacturing Inc.strike.UAW President Ron Gettelfinger has said the strikes are about local issuesnot American Axle. And union leaders in Kansas City, Kan., said they walkedout because the union and GM remain "far apart" on a variety of localcontract issues, including seniority, job selection and the use of outsidecontractors.Disrupting production of the Malibu, Saturn Aura and GM's popular BuickEnclave, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook crossovers -- at a time when consumerdemand is shifting to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars and crossovers -- isa move that could really hurt GM, analysts and workers say.GM's labor spokesman Dan Flores said: "We are disappointed that UAW Local 31ended the bargaining and took strike action at Fairfax. We remain focused onreaching an agreement as soon as possible."The newly redesigned Malibu, the fourth best-selling midsize sedan, has beenrising up the charts since its launch in November, with an averagetransaction price $4,000 higher than the previous model. Dealers say the newsedans are often sold even before they arrive on lots."The vehicles under threat from the strike are some of the most critical forGM right now," Jesse Toprak, an analyst at Edmunds.com, said Monday.