The United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against the Big Three automakers is causing layoffs to mount as the companies deal with supply chain disruptions and control costs while negotiations play out.
The UAW strike entered its seventh day on Thursday in what is the union’s first strike simultaneously targeting each of Detroit’s Big Three automakers – Ford, GM, and Stellantis. About 12,700 workers at a trio of facilities operated by the Big Three went on strike last Friday in the initial wave of walkouts.
The strike has triggered layoffs and work stoppages at those facilities in the automakers’ supply chains, and UAW President Shawn Fain has warned that further strikes will be announced if negotiations do not yield sufficient progress by Friday.
UAW leaders are running what the union calls a "stand up strike," in which specific locals are asked to go on strike at their facilities. The union has said that strategy will give it flexibility in escalating the strike incrementally up to a potential nationwide strike if negotiations do not deliver sufficient progress in its view, and will make it harder for the auto companies to predict its next move.
A request for comment from the UAW was not returned prior to publication.
Here is a look at the layoffs and work stoppages affecting the Big Three automakers and their suppliers that have been announced through Wednesday.
Approximately 600 employees at the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant’s body construction department and south sub-assembly area of integrated stamping were notified not to report to work on Sept. 15, the day the strike began.
According to Ford, the facility located in Wayne, Michigan, employs roughly 4,900 workers, of whom 4,600 are hourly employees. The facility produces Ford Ranger light trucks and Ford Bronco SUVs.
"We are developing responsible contingency plans for further work stoppages, including plans to ship the parts that keep Ford vehicles on the road – especially to keep first responders and other essential services running," a Ford spokesperson told FOX Business in a statement. "Our focus is on reaching a deal that rewards our employees, allows us to create great value for customers from Ford’s unique position as the most American automaker and enables Ford to invest and grow."
A pair of General Motors facilities have been affected by the UAW strike through Wednesday. The union went on strike at the Wentzville Assembly plant in Missouri which had the knock-on effect of causing the company’s Fairfax Assembly & Stamping plant in Kansas to be idled due to a shortage of critical stampings.
Wentzville Assembly in Missouri has 4,114 employees per the GM website and makes mid-size trucks and full-size van models. Among the vehicles it builds include the Chevrolet Colorado and Express, in addition to the GMC Canyon and Savana. Fairfax Assembly employs approximately 2,000 represented team members, GM told FOX Business. The facility builds midsize models including the Cadillac XT4 and the Chevrolet Malibu.
"It’s unfortunate that the UAW leadership’s decision to call a strike at Wentzville Assembly has already had a negative ripple effect, with GM’s Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas being idled today and most of its represented team members leaving the plant as there is no work available," GM said in a statement Wednesday. "This is due to a shortage of critical stampings supplied by Wentzville’s stamping operations to Fairfax. The team members at Fairfax are not expected to return until the situation has been resolved. Due to the specific circumstances of this situation, impacted employees are not eligible for company-provided SUB-pay."
"We have said repeatedly that nobody wins in a strike, and that effects go well beyond our employees on the plant floor and negatively impact our customers, suppliers and the communities where we do business, such as in greater Kansas City. What happened to our Fairfax team members is a clear and immediate demonstration of that fact. We will continue to bargain in good faith with the union to reach an agreement as quickly as possible," GM added.
Stellantis – the parent company of brands such as Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram – announced Wednesday that it was temporarily laying off 68 employees at the Toledo Machining Plant in Perrysburg, Ohio, due to storage constraints. The machining plant produces steering columns and torque converters for a number of other Stellantis facilities.
The company added that it anticipates similar actions at Kokomo Transmission and Kokomo Casting in Kokomo, Indiana, that will affect an estimated 300 employees at those two facilities.
The casting plant produces aluminum parts for automotive components and engine block castings, employing 1,122 people. The transmission plant makes engine block castings and assembles transmissions for the Jeep Gladiator, Grand Cherokee and Wrangler; Dodge Charger, Challenger and Durango; along with the Chrysler 300 and Ram 1500. About 2,091 people work at the facility, including 1,834 hourly workers.
U.S. Steel announced on Monday that it would temporarily idle blast furnace "B" at Granite City Works in Illinois due to the autoworkers’ strike as part of its risk mitigation plan.
The Granite City Works is located in Southern Illinois near St. Louis. Aside from its automotive products, the facility produces sheet steel products for customers in the construction, container, piping and tubing, and service center industries.
"Following the announcement of UAW strike actions, we are executing our risk mitigation plan to ensure our melt capacity is balanced with our order book," U.S. Steel said in a statement. "As a result, we have decided to temporarily idle blast furnace ‘B’ at Granite City Works and are reallocating volumes as needed to other domestic facilities to efficiently meet customer demand. We thank our employees for working to ensure the temporary idling of the furnace will be conducted safely and efficiently. We do not take these decisions lightly and will continue to monitor and assess market conditions."
U.S. Steel and the United Steelworkers union are in talks regarding a layoff minimization as called for by their collective bargaining agreement.
FOX Business reached out to U.S. Steel and the local United Steelworkers union for comment.