At the onset of the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against the Detroit Big Three automakers a month ago, the union walked out of the Michigan Assembly plant – which builds the Ford Bronco and Ford Ranger – and two weeks later, the Chicago Assembly plant, which produces the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator. Then, without warning, the UAW expanded its strike earlier this week to include the Kentucky Truck plant, which produces the Ford Super Duty, Ford Expedition, and Lincoln Navigator. Now, Ford has released some information on how this latest walkout will impact its total operations, providing some more insight into the matter.
According to the automaker, a grand total of 13 of its plants are interconnected to the Kentucky Truck plant – the Rawsonville Components plant, Dearborn Diversified Manufacturing plant, Cleveland Engine plant, Sharonville Transmission plant, Chicago Stamping plant, Buffalo Stamping plant, Sterling Axle plant, Chihuahua Engine plant, Windsor Engine plant, MAP Integrated Stamping plant, and the Dearborn Stamping plant – along with, perhaps most notably, the Louisville Assembly plant and Ohio Assembly plant, which could signal that production of vehicles at those latter two facilities – the Ford Escape, Lincoln Corsair, E-Series, Super Duty, and medium-duty trucks – could also be affected soon.
After laying off 600 workers at the Michigan Assembly plant, the expanded strike at Chicago Assembly has thus far resulted in 243 layoffs at the Chicago Stamping plant, 184 at the Lima Engine plant in Ohio, as well as 391 at the Livonia Transmission plant, 133 at the Sterling Axle plant, and 372 at the Cleveland Engine plant – for a total of 1,920 layoffs. However, it isn’t just Ford and its counterparts that are feeling the effects of the the UAW strike, as it’s also impacting around 30 percent of automotive suppliers as well.
In spite of the fact that UAW President Shawn Fain recently said that the union has made “significant” progress in contract talks, two major sticking points remain 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.