Ford and General Motors announce possible temporary layoffs at plants affected by UAW strike

Ford temporarily laid off 600 workers at Michigan assembly plant and General Motors will have to lay off about 2,000 workers at its Kansas plant.

Two of Detroit’s Big Three, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors will lay off hundreds of employees, the companies reported Friday, saying a United Auto Workers (UAW) union strike at two plants caused layoffs.

The union declared a strike Thursday against three Detroit automakers, General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, as contract negotiations failed to secure new deals for the workers before they expired at 11:59 p.m.

Shaw Fain, UAW president, said the first wave of strikes would take place if they failed to reach a new labor agreement, including the Ford Michigan assembly plant (final assembly and paint only) in Wayne, the Stellantis Toledo Ohio assembly complex and the General Motors Wentzville assembly in Missouri.

As a result, Ford temporarily laid off 600 workers at the Michigan assembly plant in Wayne. Likewise, General Motors will have to lay off approximately 2,000 employees at its Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas City, Kansas, which makes the Cadillac XT4 SUV and Chevrolet Malibu sedan.

Wentzville, which makes GM pickup trucks and medium-duty cargo vans, does stamping work for the Fairfax cars. In a document to workers, General Motors announced that it anticipates running out of stamped parts for Faifax by early next week, although they said parts inventory was fluid.

“It is unfortunate that the UAW leaders’ decision to call a strike at Wentzville Assembly has already had a negative ripple effect, and the GM Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas and its 2,000 team members are expected to be idled by early next week,” GM said.

“This is due to a shortage of critical stampings supplied by the Wentzville stamping operations to Fairfax. We are working under an expired agreement at Fairfax. Unfortunately, there are no provisions to allow for SUB payment provided by the company in this circumstance,” reported the Detroit Free Press.

For her part, Ford communications director Jessica Enoch said in an email the following:

“Approximately 600 employees in the Michigan assembly plant’s body building department and south area integrated stamping subassembly area were notified not to report to work on Sept. 15. This layoff follows the strike in Michigan Assembly Plant’s final assembly and paint departments because the components built by these 600 employees use materials that must be electromagnetically coated for protection. The electronic coating is done in the paint department, which is on strike.”

He added that the strike has directly impacted the facility.

“Our production system is highly interconnected, which means that the UAW’s targeted strike strategy will have ripple effects on facilities that are not the direct target of a work stoppage. In this case, the strike in the final assembly and paint departments of the Michigan assembly plant has directly impacted operations in other parts of the facility.”

General Motors noted that it continues to bargain in good faith with the UAW and negotiations are expected to resume that weekend.

“We have repeatedly said that no one wins in a strike and that the effects go far beyond our employees at the plant and negatively impact our customers, suppliers and the communities where we do business,” GM said in a statement. “What happened to our Fairfax team members is a clear and immediate demonstration of that fact.”

Categorized in: