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Report Examines Economic Impact of GM Strike on Kentucky and the Nation

Lisa Autry

As a national strike against General Motors enters a fifth week, the broader costs of the work stoppage are being felt in Kentucky, but not to the same degree as other states with GM facilities. 

The Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green has nearly 900 hourly workers.

A report by the Center for Automotive Research ranks Kentucky as the least hardest hit among the nine states where GM has manufacturing operations.  Still, weekly compensation in the bluegrass state is estimated to decline by more than $17 million as long as the strike lasts.  State and federal governments are losing more than $2 million a week in personal income taxes from Kentucky’s GM workers.

Governor Matt Bevin commented on the strike during a stop in Bowling Green last week.

“Financially, it’s not helping our state or any other state in this country. It’s not helping the membership because they’re families are suffering," Bevin stated. "The parts suppliers, the plants they ship things to and from here in this country, as well as Mexico and Canada have been idled, in some cases completely shut down, at least temporarily.”

Kentucky has more than 3,400 jobs tied to production at GM’s manufacturing operations, including the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green.  The report says GM workers and those employed by GM suppliers sustain more than 9,400 spinoff jobs when they spend their earnings in the economy.

Michigan, with 40 percent of GM’s total workforce, is being hardest hit by the strike, followed by Texas and Indiana.  Those three states are where GM builds full-size trucks and SUVs which are the company’s most profitable products.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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