FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) — The United Auto Workers (UAW) strike, which could soon grow, is being watched closely by car dealerships and labor relations experts in central Ohio.

About 13,000 of the 146,000 UAW members have now been on strike for more than a week. They’re from three plants across the Midwest, one General Motors plant, one Stellantis Plant and one Ford Plant. The strike is affecting production of a handful of cars.

“I think as dealers we really saw this coming and this has been a topic throughout some of our peer groups and conversations with other dealers,” said Rick Ricart, President of Ricart Automotive. 

A couple of the vehicles impacted by the work stoppage are Ford Broncos and Ford Rangers. Ricart said the dealership got more of those cars than usual over the past few months in anticipation of the strike.

“What we’re reading and what we’re projecting is an estimated 45 to 60 day strike. And if that’s the window, we shouldn’t feel any effects at all,” Ricart said. 

He said consumers in central Ohio shouldn’t be affected by higher prices related to the strike unless it goes on for an extended period of time. 

The longer it goes, the higher the chances more UAW members will leave work and more plants will be affected, according to a labor relations expert at Otterbein University.

“I think they’re really serious about this. I don’t think this is a showboating thing or anything. I think they’re extremely serious about them and their members and their brother and sisterhood and they’re going to fight,” said Dr. Don Eskew, a Professor of Management, Labor, and Human Resources at Otterbein University.

Earlier this week the UAW president said more strikes could be announced Friday unless serious progress in negotiations are made.

“I just hope they can find amicable terms soon and we can get back to conducting business as usual,” Ricart said.