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Ford announces more layoffs as UAW strike marks day 35

Factory workers and UAW union members form a picket line outside the Ford Motor Co. Kentucky Truck Plant in the early morning hours on October 14, in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Michael Swensen/Getty Images )
By Jordyn Grzelewski Detroit News

As the United Auto Workers’ unprecedented simultaneous strike of all three Detroit automakers entered its 35th day, the ripple effects continued to grow.

Ford Motor Co. said it had laid off another 150 workers as a result of production impacts of the strike.

“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. In this case, the strike at Kentucky Truck Plant has directly impacted some operations at Sterling Axle Plant,” the company said in a statement late Wednesday.

“This layoff is a consequence of the strike, because Sterling Axle Plant must reduce its production of parts that would normally be shipped to Kentucky Truck Plant.”

The new layoffs bring the total at Sterling Axle Plant, located in Sterling Heights, to 418.

Ford now has laid off more than 2,730 workers as a result of the strike.

General Motors Co. said Thursday it laid off an additional 13 employees at its Marion Metal Center in Indiana because of the UAW’s targeted plant strike at GM’s Wentzville, Missouri, plant and Lansing Delta Township plant, bringing the total number of laid-off workers at Marion to 60.

Overall, GM has laid off 2,320 workers at six GM plants in five states because of the strike.

The strike includes about 34,000 autoworkers at Ford, GM and Stellantis NV.

The union is pursuing a targeted strike strategy under which it has taken out select facilities as its leadership has deemed necessary.

Ford facilities on strike include KTP, which makes Super Duty trucks, the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator; Chicago Assembly, which makes the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator; and Michigan Assembly Plant, which makes the Bronco and Ranger.

GM workers are on strike at the automaker’s Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave Plant in Delta Township and its midsize truck plant in Wentzville, Missouri.

Stellantis’ Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio, is on strike. And all of GM and Stellantis’ parts distribution centers are striking.

The UAW continues to negotiate with all three automakers following the Sept. 14 expiration of the previous agreements.

The union met Thursday with GM and Stellantis negotiators to discuss economic offers.

Further detail on the impacts of the strike on the automakers’ financial results are expected later this month.

GM will report its third-quarter earnings on Tuesday, followed by Ford next Thursday.

Stellantis plans to disclose shipments and revenues for the three-month period ending in September on Oct. 31.

Meanwhile, an auto strike at another employer appears to be over, the UAW said Thursday.

Workers at ZF Chassis Systems in Tuscaloosa, Alabama ratified a new contract after a month on strike.

The union said in a post on social media that the new deal eliminates wage tiers and gives workers more time off, “among other wins.”

“The membership at ZF said they were tired of being kicked around, and decided to take a stand,” UAW Region 8 Director Tim Smith said.

“We’re proud to have these members’ backs.”