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UAW Strike Could Jeopardize GM’s Own 2019 SEMA Show Cars and Trucks: Report

Independent shops could also feel the pain if they can't get their GM-sourced parts in time, while the show itself could be targeted by UAW picketers.

Each year, waves of automakers and custom shops come together to show off their latest and greatest creations at Las Vegas’ annual SEMA show. With less than a month to go, many companies are entering crunch time to wrap up one-off builds and put the final touches on unannounced concept cars. But there’s one manufacturer who might be feeling more pressure than the rest: General Motors.

According to a report from Muscle Cars and Trucks citing sources familiar with the matter, the ongoing strike of GM’s UAW-bound workers may put a hold on the company and even third parties completing their projects in time for the Nov. 5 deadline.

Historically, GM has used its presence at SEMA to debut custom one-off builds and new lines of performance parts, both of which are welcomed by brand-loving enthusiasts. With deliveries of the C8 Corvette and face-lifted 2021 Colorado ZR2 imminent, GM could have plenty of fan favorites to bring to SEMA in 2019. The possibility of eye-catching cars showing at the automaker’s booth is quite likely—if they can be completed in time.

Sources tell MC&T that the UAW work stoppage is simply “affecting everything.” This not only includes GM’s production lines and in-house creations but also the availability of various wares due to the lack of behind-the-scenes workers in the automaker’s parts and shipping departments. That means that independent shops looking to complete their own vehicles in time for SEMA might experience an unexpected holdup while waiting to source a random part from GM.

The possibility of the UAW picketing GM’s attendance at SEMA is also an option not entirely out of the question. With nearly 50,000 workers across the nation currently on strike, another 3,000 non-union workers temporarily laid-off, and 6,000 factory employees south of the U.S. border without work, there’s plenty of people playing the game of patience as the world watches. At the time of writing, the UAW was not able to provide insight on any plans it may have for SEMA.

Workers are currently entering the 24th day of the walk-out strike, making it the fourth-longest in GM’s history just behind the 1936 sit-down which earned the UAW recognition to represent GM’s workers. It’s not clear if or when either side will bend to the other’s demands, but with GM dipping into its product reserve and reportedly delaying the release of the C8 Corvette, customers will soon start to feel the strong-arm of corporate America.