Steel Products

UAW Strike Leads to Ford, GM Temporary Layoffs

Written by Becca Moczygemba

Ford and General Motors have announced temporary layoffs in the wake of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union strike.

Shortly after the strike began on Sept, 15, the automakers made the announcements for Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., and GM’s Fairfax Assembly and Stamping Plant in Kansas City, Kan.


“Our production system is highly interconnected, which means the UAW’s targeted strike strategy will have knock-on effects for facilities that are not directly targeted for a work stoppage,” a spokeswoman for Ford told SMU on Monday.

On Sept. 15, approximately 600 employees at the Michigan plant were told not to report to work, according to the spokeswoman. Only the final assembly and paint shops at the plant are on strike.

However, the spokeswoman noted: “This is not a lockout.” She added that this layoff is a consequence of the strike at the Michigan Assembly Plant’s final assembly and paint departments.

The components built by these 600 employees use materials that must be e-coated for protection. E-coating is completed in the paint department, “which is on strike,” the spokeswoman said.

The plant makes the Ford Bronco SUV and the Ford Ranger pickup truck.

Before the strike occurred, the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker said in a Sept. 14 update that it “remains committed to reaching an agreement that rewards our employees and protects Ford’s ability to invest in the future.”

General Motors

GM announced that 2,000 workers would be temporarily laid off.

“It is unfortunate that the UAW leadership’s decision to call a strike at Wentzville, (Mo.), assembly has already had a negative ripple effect, with GM’s Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas and its 2,000 team members expected to be idled as soon as early this week,” a spokesman for GM told SMU on Sept. 18.

A shortage of critical stampings supplied by Wentzville led to the furlough, the spokesman said.

“We are working under an expired agreement at Fairfax. Unfortunately, there are no provisions that allow for company-provided SUB-pay in this circumstance,” the spokesman added.

The spokesman noted that the effects of a strike negatively impact customers, suppliers, and the surrounding communities.

The spokesman continued that the automaker will continue to bargain in good faith with the union to reach an agreement. Meanwhile, the Detroit-based manufacturer said its priority is the safety of its workforce.

For Netherlands-based Stellantis, the UAW has targeted the Stellantis Toledo Assembly Complex in Ohio. Toledo Assembly makes the Jeep Gladiator and the Jeep Wrangler.

Becca Moczygemba

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