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Monday, 14 October 2019 18:17

Dimondale, MI, Body Shop Feeling the Impact of UAW Strike

Written by Christiana Ford, WILX 10 News
Dimondale, MI, Body Shop Feeling the Impact of UAW Strike WILX 10 News

Index

Sunday, Oct. 13 marks day 28 of the UAW strike against General Motors and the economic effect keeps trickling down.

 

Nick Davidson has worked on cars for years and owns HD Auto Body in Dimondale, MI. He tells News 10 since the strike started, he’s lost out on thousands of dollars in sales and is struggling to stay open.

 

Davidson has worked on and had a passion for cars since he was 13. Now as the sole owner and employee of HD Auto Body, that same passion fuels his work.

 

“Some days are longer than others and sometimes I don’t take a weekend cause a customer might drop their car off on a Friday and be their only means for transportation so they need it back to go to work,” said Davidson.

 

But Davison's small body shop has seen better days. He says the UAW strike has him in deep water because he can't get certain car parts from the automaker.

 

“What the problem would be right now is if GM didn’t have the part at the dealership, I couldn’t get that part and this is happening all over the country-body shops aren’t able to get parts so customers are left without vehicles. This is trickle-down economics for sure,” said Davidson.

 

Davidson says on top of having to turn away jobs, GM customers are also backing out of appointments because they can't afford the service.

 

“I had three customers that had to back out in the last month because they’re being affected by the strike two people that work at the GM plant and then another one that just drove a semi for a subcontractor that delivers GM parts,” said Davidson.

 

As a small business, he relies on word of mouth and he says he hasn’t gotten much since the strike hit.

 

“Being a smaller shop I can’t take in a lot of work, so I always schedule x amount per month when I can get scheduling and being a smaller shop I don’t have the insurance company sending me work like they do at the bigger shops, which are called direct repair facilities,” said Davidson.


 

He says he lost more than $6,000 in the last month and expects to lose even more in November. He's resulted to slashing prices drastically just to flesh some money into bills.

 

“The business cost x amount of dollars to run a month regardless of if works coming in or not and this last month I was more than a thousand dollars negative. It’s looking like this month coming up when the bills are due, so far I’m about 90% negative,” said Davidson.

 

Davidson says even if the strike were to end, he wouldn't see any immediate changes. But he hopes people can catch up on bills and come back for repairs so that he can put presents under the tree for his kids this Christmas.

 

Strike pay increases to $275 dollars a week starting Sunday, Oct. 13. The UAW is now waiting on word from GM after submitting a counter-offer on Friday, Oct. 11. Experts say the move signals a tentative agreement could happen any day.

 

We thank WILX 10 News for reprint permission.

 

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