UAW strike idles Kansas GM plant, prompts Stellantis machining plant layoffs

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“It is unfortunate that the UAW leadership’s decision to call a strike at Wentzville Assembly has already had a negative ripple effect, with GM’s Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas being idled today and most of its represented team members leaving the plant as there is no work available,” the GM statement said. “The team members at Fairfax are not expected to return until the situation has been resolved.”

GM said the Fairfax employees would not be eligible for supplemental unemployment pay that it normally owes workers on temporary layoff “due to the specific circumstances of this situation.”

The UAW referred to a Saturday statement from President Shawn Fain saying any layoffs the Detroit 3 blame on the strike are merely “them trying to put the squeeze on our members to settle for less.”

“Their plan won’t work,” Fain’s statement said. “The UAW will make sure any worker laid off in the Big Three’s latest attack will not go without an income.”

A GM spokesperson told Automotive News that skilled trades employees at the Fairfax plant have been asked to continue reporting for their regular shifts.

Wentzville is one of three UAW-represented assembly plants that have been on strike since Friday, Sept. 15. The others are Stellantis’ Toledo Assembly Complex and Ford Motor Co.’s Michigan Assembly Plant near Detroit, which builds the Ranger and Bronco.

Ford has laid off 600 workers at Michigan Assembly that were not part of the strike.

Wednesday’s layoffs at Stellantis’ Toledo Machining Plant are related to “storage constraints” and are a result of the strike in Toledo, the company said in a statement.

“All other production at this facility continues,” Stellantis’ statement said. “In addition, we anticipate similar actions at Kokomo Transmission and Kokomo Casting in Kokomo, Indiana, affecting an estimated 300 employees at these two facilities. Stellantis continues to closely monitor the impact of the UAW strike action on our manufacturing operations.”

About 600 workers at two suppliers located within the striking Jeep complex in Ohio — Kuka Toledo Production Operations, which produces the bodies-in-white for Wranglers and Gladiators, and chassis maker Mobis — will get $500 in weekly pay even though their employers are not on strike, UAW officials in Toledo said Tuesday.

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