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UAW Strike Could Result in 500,000 Supplier Employee Layoffs, Ford warns

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union expanded their striking efforts against Ford Motor Co. on Friday. Ford warns that this could result in 500,000 supplier employee layoffs.

Two weeks ago, UAW launched their strike against Detroit’s Big Three, a Ford plant in Michigan, a General Motors plant in Missouri and a Stellantis plant in Ohio.

The strike started with 13,000 UAW members going on strike, then a few days later, a second round of strikes at 38 locations in 20 states

Ford was spared while union leadership, led by union President Shawn Fain, told members to walk off the job at 38 parts distribution facilities for GM and Stellantis.

At the end of last week, UAW added an additional 7,000 workers to the strike, this time not sparing Ford but leaving Stellantis out of the third round. 

This time, in the fourth round, the union directly targeted Ford, announcing the shutdown of the automaker’s Chicago assembly plant along with GM’s assembly facility in Lansing, Michigan. 

Following the fourth round, Ford executives held a media briefing Friday afternoon where CEO Jim Farley said there was still time to make a contract deal that would “avert a real disaster, but not much more time, given the fragility of the supply base of all the companies.”

This comes after Biden showed his support by being the first president in U.S. history to participate in a union based strike. 

The Ford executives were asked about the costs Ford is sustaining from the ongoing strike and a timeline for when they may become unsustainable should

The company did not offer specifics on dollar amounts, but it said that with two assembly plants now down, the impact on the business would be “substantial.”

“Our concern really is the resilience of the supply chain, particularly as we are healing post-COVID,” Door said. “You heard Jim speak about the fact that the supplier ecosystem for Michigan assembly plant is at risk. We understand today there’s about 2,400 supplier employees that have been laid off. But as a consequence of the actions today, we see this two-week inflection point.”

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