Workers represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) have been striking against the Big Three (Ford, General Motors (GM) and Stellantis) for over a month now, and layoffs due to supply chain disruptions have also been ongoing. In the latest round of layoffs, announced this week, Ford has let go of an additional 364 workers across two states, citing a reduction in parts demand as a result of the strikes.
Ford said on Friday it would lay off 354 workers at its Sharonville, Ohio Transmission Plant and 10 employees at its Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, according to a report from the Detroit Free Press.
The layoffs are due to Ford needing to reduce part production at the plants, which would typically ship components to the automaker’s Kentucky Truck Plant. The UAW’s strikes earlier this month targeted the Kentucky factory, resulting in a walkout of around 9,000 workers. According to Ford, the Sharonville and Rawsonville plants have already faced layoffs, bringing their total number of laid-off workers to 660 and 45, respectively.
“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 spokesperson Dan Barbossa.
The news comes after the strikes have sent ripple effects across the industry, with this being just the latest resulting layoffs. GM and Ford laid off around 500 workers across four production facilities earlier this month, and last month, GM was forced to shut down a Kansas facility employing roughly 2,000 people.
The strikes, now in their sixth week, include a total of 16,600 workers across three Ford factories in Michigan, Illinois and Kentucky, along with roughly 3,100 layoffs at 10 sites related to the labor effort.
The news also comes after Bill Ford, Executive Chair and great-grandson of founder Henry Ford, made a public call to end contract negotiations earlier this week.
Currently, over 34,000 members of the UAW are striking against the three automakers. The UAW represents nearly 150,000 workers across the three companies, and further strikes could be on the table if more progress isn’t made on contracts.
The automakers have agreed to a 23-percent wage increase over the contract’s four-year period, though Fain told union members that “there is more to be won.” GM and Ford have also said their cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) have increased overall compensation in the offers to over 30 percent.
“We’re striking the Big Three like we’ve never struck before,” Fain told members. “These extremely profitable companies have more to give.”
Still, even Fain said that strikes were nearing the end as some members urged the union to hold a vote on current offers. The UAW president responded, encouraging the members not to give in to “fear, uncertainty, doubt and division” on the negotiations. However, he also said the union was “eager to conclude these negotiations.”
“Right before a deal is when there’s the most aggressive push for that last mile,” Fain added.
Watch UAW President Shawn Fain’s update on the negotiations below, as shared on YouTube on Friday.