UAW update: Ford laying off 400 more workers at auto plants in Detroit amid Chicago strike

Thursday, October 5, 2023
Ford laying off 400 workers at plants in Detroit amid Chicago strike
As UAW negotiations continue, Ford is laying off hundreds more workers in Detroit, amid the strike in Chicago.

CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. -- Ford is laying off 400 more workers at auto plants in Detroit, and the company said the United Auto Workers strike is to blame.

"We supply Chicago Assembly with transmissions, so it's inevitable that it was going to affect us this way," said Troy Diehl, financial secretary for Local 182.

Ford explained that the layoffs are "a consequence of the strike at Chicago Assembly plant because these two facilities must reduce production of parts that would normally be shipped to Chicago."

Diehl with Local 182, right across the street from the Ford Livonia Plant, said while this was expected, and now those workers will be put on strike pay, it's still hard, WXYZ reported.

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"I think we're at a point where it's a lose-lose. Now it's just a matter of how much does everybody want to lose?" Diehl said.

These 400 layoffs are in addition to the already 930 layoffs at the other ford facilities, bringing the total now to about 1,330 employees let go.

"I'm sure there will be more in the not too distant future," Diehl said.

Hundreds were laid off at a Chicago Heights plant over the weekend, as well.

Chicago's South Side Assembly plant is the sole producer of the Ford Explorer, one of the company's top sellers. It's more than 4,500 employees were called to strike last Friday. On Tuesday, picketers expressed sympathy for those laid off at the Chicago Heights plant.

"It's very disheartening. We're all family. We're all UAW members. I don't want to see this happen to any of us," said Ester Johnson, a striking UAW Local 551 worker.

All the layoffs are expected to be temporary, lasting only until an agreement is reached between the union and the Big Three automakers.

ABC7 Chicago contributed to this report.