Though the United Auto Workers (UAW) union opted not to expand its strike against Ford last week, the ripple effects of that labor action are still being felt across the automotive industry. With the union walking out of the Michigan Assembly plant and Chicago Assembly plant, Ford wound up laying off more than 1,300 workers as a direct result of that action at MAP, as well as the Livonia Transmission plant and Sterling Axle plant, which supply parts to the Chicago-based facility. The Blue Oval isn’t done laying off workers amid the ongoing strike just yet, however, as that number continues to grow, according to Reuters.
Ford has laid off another 495 workers as a result of the UAW strike – 470 of which will occur at the Cleveland Engine plant and Lima Engine plant in Ohio – while the remaining 25 will take place at an unspecified facility in Michigan. That brings the grand total to 1,825 layoffs thus far, while a total of 7,900 UAW-represented Ford workers are currently on strike.
Last week, UAW President Shawn Fain opted not to expand the union’s strike against Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis, noting that the sides had made significant progress in recent days. This came after public rhetoric between automakers and the UAW got a little heated, with Ford CEO Jim Farley and GM CEO Mary Barra both accusing union leaders of negotiating in bad faith and purposely holding up contract talks – allegations that Fain quickly dismissed as an outright lie.
Last week, Ford also submitted its seventh contract proposal to the union, seemingly bridging the gap between the two sides at least a little. The Blue Oval also continues to pay health care benefits to striking workers, which it isn’t contractually obligated to do.