More Layoffs, Losses as U.S. Auto Union Expands Strike Against Big Three Automakers


The impacts of the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against the Big Three U.S. automakers continue to increase as it enters the 40th day with UAW workers at the largest and most profitable plants of Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. (GM) and Stellantis NV on strike.

The union on Tuesday organized its 5,000 member workers at GM’s full-size SUV plant in Arlington, U.S. state of Texas, to strike. The plant builds the Detroit automaker’s most expensive vehicles such as the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, and the Cadillac Escalade and Escalade-V.

On Monday, the UAW organized its 6,800 member workers at Stellantis’ Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in the U.S. state of Michigan, to strike. The plant builds the popular RAM 1500 truck and is Stellantis’ largest plant as well as the biggest moneymaker.

On Oct. 11, 8,700 UAW member workers at Ford’s highly profitable truck plant in the U.S. state of Kentucky unexpectedly walked out. The plant produces Ford’s Super Duty trucks and a pair of large SUVs, the Ford Expedition and the Lincoln Navigator.

The Big Three now all have their largest and most profitable assembly plants on strike.

After spreading the strike to Ford’s Kentucky truck plant, UAW President Shawn Fain said the union has changed its strategy and would call on plants to join the strike at any time, not just on Fridays.

Fain on Friday detailed the current proposals from GM, Ford, and Stellantis. All Big Three now have offered 23-percent wage increases and agreed to eliminate wage tiers.

As around 45,000 UAW members out of some 146,000 across the country are now on strike, at eight assembly plants and 38 Stellantis and GM parts distribution centers in 22 states, the Big Three automakers are suffering more losses and announcing more layoffs.

Stellantis on Tuesday announced 525 new layoffs, bringing the total number of strike-related layoffs to 2,045, according to local media.

GM said Tuesday that beginning Wednesday, it will lay off 139 workers at its Parma Metal Center in Ohio as there will be no work available as a result of the Arlington plant strike. Overall, the automaker reports about 2,640 strike-related layoffs.

Ford has laid off 3,167 workers as a result of the strike.

The latest data released Monday by Michigan consulting firm Anderson Economic Group show the UAW’s strike against the Big Three cost the U.S. auto industry some 9.3 billion U.S. dollars as of Oct. 19.

In a breakdown, the UAW’s strike has so far cost workers 488 million dollars in lost wages, while the automakers have collectively lost 4.18 billion dollars. Dealers and customers are suffering a combined 1.86-billion-dollar loss, and suppliers have lost more than 2.78 billion dollars.

If the strike drags on, it would force automakers to delay or cancel investments, forecasted the consulting firm. GM, Ford, and Stellantis already announced such actions, “Many more are likely if the strike continues.”

In his weekly address to members on Friday, Fain said that although the union has received record offers from the Big Three, union leadership believes there is “more to be won” from the automakers.

The UAW announced a strike at three select factories of Ford, GM, and Stellantis on Sept. 14, after its contract with the Big Three expired.