UAW strike continues, negotiations making no progress

LANSING, Mich. – The United Auto Workers (UAW) union strike continues, and the ripple effects are beginning to be felt.

More than 6,000 workers across Detroit Three and their suppliers are laid off as a result of walkouts.

On Friday, around 7,000 more workers went on strike at General Motors and Ford plants nationwide, but now, even more autoworkers are being impacted.

UAW Local 440 members at GM Bedford Casting Operations are still working but without a contract. They are ready to hit the picket lines when called to.

“We are ready to stand up and fight when called upon,” said Local UAW Local 440 President Derek Cronin.

“Right now this fight is about not getting the dignity and respect we deserve,” added Cronin. “For the long hours and work we put in. We work seven days a week 12 hours a day. That work needs to be dignified. This is about the working class the ones that work for a living. 

Bedford UAW workers during Solidarity Rally at Harp Commons

After the contract expired on Sept. 14, the strike has expanded to about 25,000 workers at 43 facilities across the country. The latest plants to go on strike Frida were Chicago’s Ford Assembly Plant and General Motors’ Lansing Delta Township Assembly in Lansing, Mich.

UAW President Shawn Fain has been escalating the strike against the “Big Three” Detroit-based automakers — Stellantis, GM, and Ford — weekly since the contract expired, calling on new plants to strike dependent on progress at the bargaining table.  There was no progress made over the weekend, according to officials.

Ford and General Motors have laid off an additional 500 workers combined, knock-on effects from the United Auto Workers’ ongoing strike. 

Late Monday, Ford said it idled two factories that supply parts to a sport-utility-vehicle assembly plant in Chicago, where workers walked off the job on Friday. Work stopped at a stamping plant near the SUV factory and an engine plant in Lima, Ohio, resulting in the layoffs of about 330 employees, the company said.

GM put 130 workers on layoff at a plant in Parma, Ohio, and sent home another 34 at the Marion Metal Center in Marion in central Indiana, the automaker said Monday. Both factories make metal parts used at GM assembly plants that are dark because of the walkouts. 

 “We have no work available,” due to strikes at GM’s Wentzville, Mo., and Lansing, Mich., assembly plants according to a statement from General Motors spokesperson David Barnas. He said employees will not return until the strike is over nor will they receive severance pay since the contract is expired.

“We have said repeatedly that nobody wins in a strike, and this is yet another demonstration of that fact,” the statement said. “We will continue to bargain in good faith with the union to reach an agreement as quickly as possible.”

Stellantis announced the possible layoffs of 300 workers at Kokomo Casting and Transmission plants due to the UAW strike at a plant in Ohio but did not say when those layoffs would occur.

Overall, about 25,000 UAW workers are on strike at facilities owned by GM, Ford, and Stellantis.

With the layoffs disclosed by GM and Ford on Monday, more than 6,000 factory workers are off the job because of spillover effects from the strike. That figure includes several suppliers who have cited furloughs directly tied to the walkouts.