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This Day In Market History: 3,400 UAW Workers Walk Out Of GM Plant

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This Day In Market History: 3,400 UAW Workers Walk Out Of GM Plant
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Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened?

On this day 20 years ago, 3,400 members of the United Auto Workers union walk out of their jobs at the General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) Flint, Michigan plant.

Where The Market Was

The Dow closed at 9,037.71. The S&P 500 traded at around 1,113.86. Today, the Dow is trading at 24,813.69 and the S&P 500 is trading at 2,746.87.

What Else Was Going On In The World?

In 1998, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that Quebec could not secede from Canada. The U.S. announced its first budget surplus in 30 years. Federal Reserve interest rates were 8.25 percent.

GM Walkout

In the 1970s and 1980s, the UAW agreed to a number of concessions, including wage cuts, pay freezes and job cuts, to help U.S. automakers like GM survive difficult market conditions. As the market improved in the 1990s, however, the UAW pushed back when it saw GM break its promise to spend $300 million to upgrade its Flint metal-stamping facility.

The workers who walked out of the metal-stamping plant on June 5 were joined by 5,800 workers at the Delphi Technologies PLC (NYSE: DLPH) plant in Flint one week later.

After a 54-day strike, GM agreed not to close several of the striking factories and invest $180 million in new equipment. The strike ultimately cost GM $2 billion in lost production and $1.79 per share in second-quarter earnings.

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