Stellantis and Ford launched a new wave of layoffs at facilities in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan as the United Auto Workers union enters its fifth week of strikes against Detroit-Three automakers.
Last Friday, Stellantis announced plans to furlough 700 employees at two Indiana plants shortly after a livestream hosted by UAW president Shawn Fain. During the broadcast, Fain revealed he would no longer provide advanced notice of new strikes to car manufacturers to ensure that walkouts retained their effectiveness.
Earlier in the week, the United Auto Workers union had escalated its strike against Ford by targeting its Kentucky truck assembly plant, a major source of revenue for the company. Ford responded on the following Monday, saying it would lay off 550 employees across plants in Ohio, Michigan and Illinois.
Since strikes began in September, automakers have furloughed more than 6,100 employees across the U.S. Ford, having the largest body of United Auto Workers members in its workforce, has led the Detroit-Three in layoffs with 2,480 suspended staff members, followed by General Motors with 2,300 and Stellantis with 1,340. Fain has dismissed these moves, calling them scare tactics.
On Monday morning, Ford executive chairman Bill Ford expressed concern about the UAW strike’s impact on the car industry’s future during a press briefing. “If it continues,” he warned, “it will have a major impact on the American economy and devastate local communities.” Last week, Ford Blue chief Kumar Galhotra noted the company was “at the limit” of what it could afford to offer the union. Last Friday marked the four-week anniversary of the union’s strike.