The UAW — one of the nation’s largest unions — went on strike last night as their demands for a four-year 40% hike in wages have been rejected by Ford and GM. Hollywood writers and actors are on strike as well.
Union strike activity is up more than 50% since Trump left office.
We’re not surprised at all by the agitation and more militant demand by the unions. Inflation has put a huge dent in the real wages and salaries of union workers.
They’ve been losing money under Biden’s inflation. Since Biden entered office the CPI is up around 17.5% and most union contracts fell well short of that mark. Historically, strike activity is highly associated with inflation – and that’s been proven true statistically. The chart above shows the surge in the number of work stoppages in the late 1960s and ‘70s. That’s the period of Nixon-Ford-Carter when inflation surged from 3 to 6 to 8 to 11%.
What irony that Biden (who boasts that he is the most “pro-union president in history”), has done more damage to union real take-home pay than any other president since Jimmy Carter.
As CTUP economists EJ Antoni and Stephen Moore have shown:
“History proves that mismanagement of the money supply and a dollar that loses value causes convulsions in the labor market. Annual inflation spiked to 7.9 percent for 1951, and a record 470 strikes occurred the next year. In the late 1960s, inflation rose to 5.4 percent and the number of strikes rose above 400.
But as price volatility moderated starting in the Reagan years, so did strikes. Not only did inflation decrease in the early 1980s, but it became more predictable too. A stable dollar that retained its value allowed labor and management to reach mutually agreeable contracts on wage increases.”