Ford temporarily lays off 600 workers at Michigan Assembly Plant due to UAW strike

Ford Bronco Michigan Assembly Plant
Posted at 5:13 PM, Sep 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-15 17:13:27-04

Ford Motor Company said it has laid off about 600 employees at the Michigan Assembly Plant's body construction department due to the United Auto Workers union strike.

The UAW went on strike at midnight Friday and targeted three plants with the first round of strikes – the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, the Stellantis Toledo Assembly Plant in Toledo and a General Motors plant in Missouri.

Related: Here's what vehicles are built at the 3 plants the UAW is striking

“Our production system is highly interconnected, which means the UAW’s targeted strike strategy will have knock-on effects for facilities that are not directly targeted for a work stoppage. In this case, the strike at Michigan Assembly Plant’s final assembly and paint departments has directly impacted the operations in other parts of the facility," Ford said in a statement. "Approximately 600 employees at Michigan Assembly Plant’s body construction department and south sub-assembly area of integrated stamping were notified not to report to work Sept. 15. This is not a lockout. This layoff is a consequence of the strike at Michigan Assembly Plant’s final assembly and paint departments, because the components built by these 600 employees use materials that must be e-coated for protection. E-coating is completed in the paint department, which is on strike.”

The contract with the Big Three expired at 11:59 p.m. Thursday and workers at some of the plants walked off the line. UAW President Shawn Fain identified those three as initial strike targets, instructing workers to walk out after the deadline:

It's part of what Fain called the "Stand Up Strike" strategy, and based on how bargaining is going, Fain said they could announce more UAW locals to stand up and strike. There are nearly 150,000 UAW members working for the Big Three.

Bargaining was paused on Friday as Fain and other leaders throughout Michigan held a rally at the UAW-Ford Center along Jefferson Ave. in Downtown Detroit.