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 last week to include the Kentucky Truck plant, which produces the Ford Super Duty, Ford Expedition, and Lincoln Navigator. All of these closures have also prompted The Blue Oval to lay off 1,920 workers at other plants that supply parts to those facilities, and soon, the Sharonville Transmission plant may be facing some layoffs of its own this coming Monday, as the UAW revealed to Cincinnati.com.
“We were not called to strike but will have some layoffs at our plant,” said UAW 863 local president Tod Turner, though he wasn’t sure exactly how many workers will be affected. The Sharonville plant – which builds 6R140 and 10R80 transmissions for Ford models – currently employs round 2,000 workers, 1,800 of whom are represented by the union.
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. 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 recent 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.