So far, the more-than-a-month-long United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis has impacted The Blue Oval’s operations in a major way, even though the strike only currently affects three of its production plants – at least directly. Along with the Michigan Assembly plant and Chicago Assembly plant, the UAW just walked out of the Kentucky Truck plant last week, which impacts 13 other facilities. As a result, Ford had laid off a total of 2,480 employees as of last week – including some at the Sterling Axle plant – and now, that same facility is facing even more layoffs, according to the Detroit Free Press.
This latest round of cuts totals 106 workers, bringing the total number of layoffs at the Sterling Axle plant to 268 thus far. That particular facility produces parts that are shipped to both the Kentucky Truck and Chicago Assembly plants, which is the root cause of these layoffs. “Our production system is highly interconnected, which means the UAW’s targeted strike strategy has knock-on effects for facilities that are not directly targeted for a work stoppage,” said Ford spokesman Dan Barbossa.
This new round of layoffs means that FoMoCo currently has 16,600 UAW workers striking at the aforementioned trio of plants, along with 2,580 layoffs at 10 other sites, including Sterling Axle, the Sharonville Transmission plant, Dearborn Stamping plant, Dearborn Diversified Manufacturing plant, Rawsonville Components plant, Chicago Stamping plant, Lima Engine plant, Livonia Transmission plant, and Cleveland Engine plant.
Meanwhile, two major sticking points remain in discussions between the two sides that have yet to be overcome – the union’s desire to restore the same retirement security that was previously provided by pre-2007 defined benefit pension plans, as well as including existing and future joint-venture EV battery plants in master contracts with automakers.