Auto workers strike against General Motors could delay car repairs

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. It's been twenty-three days since 49,000 General Motor's workers went on strike.

The stalled negotiation agreements between the auto maker and The United Auto Workers union are starting to cause a ripple effect, leading to parts shortages.

Right now, most dealerships have enough new car inventory to last a few more weeks if the strike continues.

The problem is replacement parts.

A local GM dealership services an average of 200 cars a day and needs to keep a steady stock.

If workers don't get back on the factory line soon, a lot of vehicles may not get fixed.

"That's the longest strike GM has had since 1970," said Lynn Thompson.

He's the dealer principal at Thompson GMC. He said the effects of the strike could soon trickle down to the Ozarks.

"I hate to say this but this strike could go on for a while. They're wanting more pay, some guarantees," he said.

"I don't like any strikes. I'm concerned that if they won't get the parts that they need," said Rex McKee.

He drives all the way from Bolivar to Springfield to get his truck serviced.

"I rely on it, yeah, that's part of my living," he said. "It's crucial that you have a place to go to make sure you get it done right."

Thompson needs to keep GM parts coming in the door so that his mechanics can keep repaired vehicles driving out.

"I can't take parts of a new car and put it on a car that needs fixing because of recalls. They can't follow that part to the new car like we used to do," he said.

A majority of the work done at this dealership involves warranty and recall orders.

"If it is a safety issue and I can't get that part, I don't have an answer right now. That's why I want it to end as soon as possible," explained Thompson.

He doesn't want to have to turn customers away.

"So far we haven't run into an instance yet, might happen tonight, might happen tomorrow, might happen a week from now. We will. There's no doubt. I just hope it ends good for everybody," he said.

Reports say that talks have stalled over the automaker's lack of commitment to factory workers, including job security in the US.

The strike has already forced one plant each in Canada and Mexico to close.

It's unknown when a deal could be made.