This seems to be an escalation to the aggressive negotiations.
The United Auto Workers union and American Big Three automakers are still at an impasse on labor negotiations almost a week after the first round of strikes. In reaction to the shutdowns, GM and Stellantis both have announced layoffs, the former going much deeper than the latter. This could be a preview of what’s to come in the near future.
General Motors announced on September 20 it’s idling the Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City and laying off most of the 2,000 workers who cover two shifts at the facility. Those layoffs, which won’t include unemployment benefits, a move the automaker blames on “specific circumstances of this situation.”
This is stomach-twisting news for the people who work at Fairfax, but the fact the striking Wentzville Assembly Plant does some stamping for the Chevy Malibu and Cadilac XT4 which are assembled in Kansans City, that’s the reason the company is providing for this move.
However, some are interpreting this as a retaliatory move or warning shot by GM. After all, UAW is planning to expand its strike, which could in turn trigger more plants to be idled and workers laid off without unemployment.
For its part, Stellantis has kept layoffs much smaller with 68 at its Ohio operations. But the company that owns Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and more says it could lay off another 300 in Indiana soon, says NBC News.
Things are quiet with Ford at the moment, although the automaker did lay off about 600 workers at its Wayne, Michigan plant last Friday. It’s conceivable that a larger wave of layoffs could be coming soon.
About 12,700 UAW members are striking at three different assembly plants, one for each major American automaker. The union has stated that at noon on Friday that number will expand, affecting more factories as the standoff is starting to look like it could last longer than optimists had hoped.
Image via GM