Automakers Lay Off More Workers As Strike Takes Its Toll

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Will Kessler Contributor
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Major automakers have laid off even more employees as union workers continue to strike at several manufacturing plants amid contract negotiations, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Ford and General Motors laid off an additional 500 workers this week, bringing the total number of workers that have lost their jobs at the companies to a combined 6,000 following a strike from the United Auto Workers (UAW), according to the WSJ. UAW is currently striking against Ford, GM and Stellantis at 43 manufacturing plants using a targeted strike strategy, with many workers remaining on the job as contract negotiations continue. (RELATED: ‘A Hit Job On Michigan And On Detroit’: Trump Calls Biden EV Push A ‘Government Assassination’ Of Auto Jobs)

“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,” Ford told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “In this case, the strike at Chicago Assembly Plant has directly impacted some operations at Chicago Stamping Plant and Lima Engine Plant. Approximately 330 employees have been asked not to report to work, with layoffs taking effect beginning Sept. 30 at Chicago Stamping Plant and Oct. 2 at Lima Engine Plant.”

Negotiations between the automakers and the union have failed to reach a consensus, with the companies offering a 20% wage increase over the course of their four-year contract, while the union has offered a mid-30% wage increase at the lowest, according to the WSJ. The union is also demanding benefits like cost of living adjustments, the elimination of wage tiers and more.

“The UAW leadership’s decision to call a strike at GM Wentzville Assembly, and now GM Lansing Delta Township Assembly, continues to have negative ripple effects,” GM said in a statement to the DCNF. “We have said repeatedly that nobody wins in a strike, and this is yet another demonstration of that fact. We will continue to bargain in good faith with the union to reach an agreement as quickly as possible.”

Ford has announced a halt in the construction of a new electric vehicle (EV) plant in Marshall, Michigan, which would have created an estimated 2,500 jobs, saying that the project will continue when the company is more confident in its ability to operate competitively. The shift to EV production by auto manufacturers has been met with resistance from UAW workers, who argue that EV jobs have lower wages and fewer benefits as they are not covered under current contracts.

The UAW did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the DCNF.

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