Jim Cramer says 'watch Ford as a barometer' of potential United Auto Workers strike risk

Cramer's Mad Dash: UBS initiates Ford as buy

Ford Motor‘s (F) stock may offer clues into Wall Street’s current attitude toward potential strikes by the United Auto Workers union, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Wednesday.

The UAW has been negotiating new contracts for its 146,000 members with the three Detroit automakers — Ford, General Motors (GM) and Jeep-owner Stellantis (STLA). The current contract expires Thursday at 11:59 p.m. The UAW has authorization to call strikes if no deal is reached.

“I want to watch Ford as a barometer,” Cramer said on “Squawk on the Street.” “Maybe there are people who really do think it’s going to be Stellantis they go after,” Cramer said, alluding to the idea that the UAW may choose to strike against just one automaker, instead of all three, which would be more costly.

The UAW also may decide to implement targeted strikes at certain plants, CNBC reported Tuesday night, citing union officials.

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Cramer’s Charitable Trust, the portfolio used by the CNBC Investing Club, owns shares of Ford. Cramer has been concerned about labor-talk overhangs on Ford’s stock for weeks, but he’s not viewed them as a reason to sell.

In an interview earlier Wednesday on CNBC, UAW President Shawn Fain was asked whether Ford, which employs the most UAW members of the Detroit Three, was the least likely to be struck. “As it stands it right now, all three are most likely to be struck unless we get a deal by Sept. 14 at midnight,” Fain responded. “There is no lead company,” he said.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, UBS initiated coverage of Ford and GM with buy ratings

Here’s a full list of the stocks in Jim’s Charitable Trust, the portfolio used by the CNBC Investing Club.

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