The United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis began last month, with the union walking out of a total of three plants – one operated by each automaker. Since then, with talks seemingly making little progress, the UAW has expanded that strike to include additional facilities. For Ford, that list currently includes the Michigan Assembly plant and Chicago Assembly plant, which has prompted the automaker to lay off nearly 1,000 workers as a direct result of that action. Now, Ford has laid off an additional 400 workers at other plants as ripple effects from the strike continue, according to Automotive News.
This latest round of layoffs consists of 350 workers at the Livonia Transmission plant and 50 employees at the Sterling Axle plant, all of whom were told to not report to work starting today. That brings the total number of layoffs for the Blue Oval to 1,330 that stem from the UAW strike, which began back on September 15th. Both of these facilities supply parts to the Chicago Assembly plant, which builds the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator.
In the meantime, negotiations between the UAW and the Detroit Big Three automakers remain a bit heated, with Ford CEO Jim Farley and GM CEO Mary Barra both accusing the union of negotiating in “bad faith” by purposely delaying talks, as well as holding up progress at under-construction EV battery plants by doing precisely that. UAW President Shawn Fain has denied these allegations, and said that Farley was “lying about the state of negotiations.”
Meanwhile, Ford continues to pay heath care benefits for striking workers – even though it isn’t contractually obligated to do so – and submitted its seventh contract proposal to the union this week, which includes a 20 percent increase for permanent employees and a 26 percent jump for temps, along with traditional cost-of-living increases, the end of pay tiers, and a reduction in the amount of time it takes to reach the top wage and for temp hires to become permanent. Additionally, Ford has promised that no worker will lose their job due to the construction of a battery plant during the length of this contract.